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Age Laws - UK.

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smudge | 14:18 Mon 17th Jan 2005 | People & Places
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As AB Ed has just banned my legitimate question on this subject, I shall rephrase it & see if it stays.


Do you agree/disagree with the following current laws? Would you like to see any changes & if so, what?


Legal:  Sex at 16

Legal:  Have children at 16

Legal:  Marriage at 16

Legal:  Driving lessons at 17

Legal:  Pass driving test - go out on roads alone at 17

Illegal:  Purchase/Drink alcohol in public places until 18





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It's not illegal to have children if you are younger than 16.

Alcohol should be increased to 21

Question Author
I thought it was illegal to have sex under 16. Seeing as you have to have sex to become pregnant, I would have thought that it was also illegal to have a baby at under 16, although lots of girls do. If this is the case, it must surely be a contradiction.

What is a contradition of the law is this..

You can legaly have sex at 16, you can get married at 16 with your parents permission.. but you have to be 18 to watch a porn movie.. Now, a porn movie is people having sex, which you can have at 16. Does this mean that if a couple both aged 16 had sex and made a video of it to watch later, it would be illegal for them to view it?

To add to my previous post.. watching a porn movie could be classed as sex education. Most of the top porn movie makers actually show condoms being used (the business is very highly regulated, condoms, regular check ups for aids, etc). Surely seeing that condoms are used would educate young people and help prevent underage pregnancies. I haven't got kids, but I'd rather them watch a porn movie than all this violent stuff that's around.. stealing cars, shootings, etc.

Alcohol is abused.. binge drinking.. in years to come many people will have liver and kidney problems. I was a teenager once and got drunk a few times, and I did drive over the limit frequently, but I'm mature now and rarely drink. Give me a cup of tea anyday.

I would move the 'sex' and 'birth' laws to 18 - if indeed the second one exists. I would move marriage to 18, and driving lessons and test to 25. I would ban alcohol completely.

Yeah, consider yourselves lucky. A lot of UK laws have been changed for Northern Ireland e.g. 17 to have sex. So, if a couple, both 16 living in Belfast were to have sex, they would be breaking the law. However, if they got the boat over to Scotland or England and had sex there, they wouldn't be breaking the law. Also, if anyones knows, Lesbians its suggested arent 'technically' having sex so the age limits dont apply to them.

Kev_UK, if two 16 year olds filmed themselves having sex, they wouldnt be breaking the law by watching themselves after. It would be illegal for them to buy a pornographic video from a shop until they are 18, thats all.

Thats kinda like saying if a dad bought an 18 tape (any kind) his 15 y/o son would be breaking the law by watching it with him.

You can join the armed forces at 16, so you can shoot someone, just not s**** them........ 
Just to say, Smudge, that I have had a perfectly legitimate question banned today as well?  See my comment in suggestions under Prince Harry/News Category.  What annoys is that some perfectly stupid questions are left on!  This answer will disappear by tomorrow morning and I will get a stern reprimand - good fun!
What annoys me is that I have a son of 22 at university who in all respects is an adult and yet my income is assessed for his loan and tuition fees!  Why should parents be involved.  I actually am happy to help him, but the law is an ass!
Question Author

FP - I earlier tried posting those exact words: 'The Law is an Ass' but I couldn't post a dam thing!!!! I even tried rating answers, but all to no avail.


Yes, it does seem strange that your income is being assessed for your 22 year old son's Uni fees. They need you as his guarantor - just in case!


The more I think about it, it all seems a bit of a contradiction to me. It's okay to get married & have a baby at 16. It's okay at 17, to pass your driving test & get behind the wheel of a 'potential' killing machine - but you can't go into a pub & buy an alcoholic drink until you're 18! Personally, I think it's time for a complete overhaul of the law.

I'm fairly certain there can be no law regarding legality of actually "having children" at any age. What sort of punishment could possibly be considered appropriate for this "crime"? Forced abortions? FInes? A jail sentence?
Personally i'd like to see the driving age increased.

I would put a law on the childbirth and I would imagine in my world I would have it at 22 - onwards.

Driving again I would increase to say 20

Marriage goes the same as children

Question Author

QmonkE - my sentiments entirely. So, the law states that sex under 16 is illegal, but it's okay to have a baby under 16, it doesn't make sense!


In an ideal world, I would like to see:


Legal sex & motherhood increased to at least 18/20, although this would never happen.

The age for driving increased to 20.

The age for drinking alcohol increased to 20.


After all, you didn't used to get the key of the door until you were 21, so what was all that about?

Driving age definitely increased for men - young men are far too immature to be allowed to drive a car at 17.  21 at least.

I'd only let white, middle-class, Conservative-voting hetrosexuals breed and drive cars. All other types would be forced to die out - on foot or public transport.

I had a 49cc moped and started riding it on my 16th birthday, I then went on to bigger motorcycles before having a car. I left school officially on May 27th 1977 and started work June 13th 1977. If I hadn't got any transport I couldn't have got to work. Public transport was not available as I started early at the coal mines.

A few years ago when I was unemployed so had no car as no money to buy/repair one, insure and tax one. I looked at public transport to get to a 2pm - 10pm job, and the last bus was at 9pm. SO, YOU NEED TO DRIVE TO GET TO WORK.. NO WORK = NO MONEY.

In a lot of cases NO MONEY = CRIME

I think that young drivers could be limited to use of a car for work.. or a limited milage. There could also be a limit on engine size, horsepower.

There are some EXCELLENT young drivers about.  Not all young drivers are immature.  There are some dreadful OLD drivers about who cause loads of accidents and I meet more of them on the roads than I do the youngsters.  Ageism should be stamped on.  There are good and bad amongst all agegroups.  (and I am of the older variety)

Changes I would enforce

Legal Sex at 18

Legal Have Children at 18

Legal Marriage at 18

Legal Homosexual Marriage/sex etc. 21

Legal Driving 18

Legal Alcohol 18

Legal Tobacco 18

Many more but have already answered my alloted quota.

ICEMANSAV,  contradiction there, saying "Legal sex at 18" then later saying "Legal Homosexual Marriage/sex etc. 21". Same sex: same age. Furthermore, don't give me that maturity -v- immaturity thing; assuming that heterosexual young people are so much more able to control or know themselves. Since when has a legal prohibition ever stopped kids doing what comes naturally? It never stopped me!

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