Heads up: Top comment and controversy
Poll: Is Cameron right to reject call to lower age of consent to 15?
17 November 2013 01:26 PM
Parents of teenagers, best look away now. A leading public health expert has called on the Government to lower the age of consent to 15, suggesting that the current age limit is preventing sexually active teenagers from seeking help with issues of disease or contraception.
Professor John Ashton said society should accept that a third of 14 to 15-year-olds were having sex.
To respond "helpfully" to this generation and "support them on this journey into adult life", Ashton argues the age limit for legal sexual intercourse should be dropped from 16 to 15.
But Downing Street said there were no plans to do, and that the current age of 16 was in place to protect children.
Where do you stand? Should we accept that teenagers are having sex at a younger age, and therefore legitimise such behaviour and encourage openness, or stand by the current system as a bulwark against teens having sex before they may be ready to do so? Take our poll