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To think 13 yo is too young for sex

(39 Posts)
Loislane78 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:27:05

So i was watching US Supernanny yesterday. It transpired that a 13 yo boy had condoms in his room and later admitted to his parents he was sexually active.

There seemed to follow a couple of chats with his parents about the 'dangers' namely pg, STIs and a bit about emotions but I was naively a bit surprised tbh. As a newish mum it got me thinking what i'd do in this situation. Obviously 13 yos have been known to have sex but it seemed v par for the course for this kid, who (to me at least) looked older than his age.

The parents seemed calm which I guess is good as hitting the roof wouldn't achieve much but I was thinking who is the other party - a 13 yo girl which for some reason I find even worse. The parents didn't (seem) to say anything about the legalities of the situation or talk about who his partner was. Perhaps that bit wasn't aired. Would you try to find out? Tell the girls parents? Tell his friends parents?

HollyBerryBush Wed 10-Apr-13 11:30:29

FWIW - 13 is the age of consent in Spain.

Depending on the US State it was filmed in, he could be anything upto 8 years too young.

However in Canada, the age of consent varies from 12 to 13 depending on territory : A youth of twelve or thirteen can consent to sexual activity with an individual less than two years older than they. A fourteen- or fifteen-year-old can consent to sexual activity with a partner who is less than five years older than themselves.

So It pays to not over think what the rest of the world is doing

willyoulistentome Wed 10-Apr-13 11:33:05

Far too young. Shocked at the laws in Spain and Canada shock

Loislane78 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:34:17

Interesting, I didn't know that about Spain/Canada

It does vary from one country to another - if you think about it there is no specific reason why the age of consent should be 16 rather than anything else. And teens vary a huge amount in how physically and emotionally mature they are.

So, what I'd do about it here - clip him round the ear and have a serious talk about what he thought he was doing - might not be the same if I'd had him in a country where it was considered that two hormonal 13yos were better off not being criminalised.

HollyBerryBush Wed 10-Apr-13 11:35:44

Holland as well, staggered ages of consent. it starts at 12, but you cannot have sex with someone more than 5 years older than yourself, until you reach 16

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 10-Apr-13 11:36:36

Yes it is too young, imo. However the parents did the right thing, it would be worse (and he would be more vulnerable) if he felt he couldn't talk to them.

Branleuse Wed 10-Apr-13 11:37:06

good post hollyberrybush

A 13 year old being sexually active is not ideal, but its not really newsworthy either

reluctantmover Wed 10-Apr-13 11:37:28

It just shows the differences in cultures. I won't forget doing a week long child protection course run by a Police constabulary / Social Services team. They admitted that for children from different cultures they left alone, and from others they would intervene, it just left me feeling numb that such decisions were based on culture and not vulnerability or even law.

HollyBerryBush Wed 10-Apr-13 11:43:47

I always thought it was interesting that Spain as a popular holiday destination (or was) in the early days of package deals, was probably one of the most dangerous for teenaged girls. Their laws apply, not ours.

Ditto, going to the USA; so you might be married in this country at 16, and banged up in the USA because State law over rides Federal Law

bettycocker Wed 10-Apr-13 11:47:13

13 is too young to be sexually active. What if you ended up becoming a parent at that age?

kinkyfuckery Wed 10-Apr-13 11:52:23

Far too young imo, emotionally especially. My ex-H lost his virginity at 13 to a 17 year old girl. Gives me the heebie jeebies <shudder>

Weird to think that what is considered legal and normal in one country would be classed at statutory rape in this one.

lovetomoan Wed 10-Apr-13 11:55:54

Someone will come soon and say they did at 13 (or younger) and they were emotionally mature to deal with the consequences.

HollyBerryBush Wed 10-Apr-13 11:57:24

In Bolivia, there is no legislative age of consent, it is determined by onset of puberty.

Australia is a good one too. Age of consent is 16 in The Australian Capital Territory and Coral Sea Islands Territories UNLESS ""However it is a defence if the younger party was aged 10 years or older and the offender was not more than 2 years older than the younger party.""

bigTillyMint Wed 10-Apr-13 12:01:03

I think it's too young emotionally but didn't realise how much it varies in other countries.

Does anyone know how their teen pregnancy rates compare?

It depends on the individual. Its not ideal but its different in other countries, cultures or communities. Most people have their own attitudes usually based on their own sexual experiences.

I know that two of my DC have been sexually active at 13 or 14. Its sort of the way of the world and their individual choice. It sounds like the parents reacted well. Going mad achieves very little.

There was a similar thread the other day from a mum in the same position here

Booyhoo Wed 10-Apr-13 12:07:00

"13 is too young to be sexually active. What if you ended up becoming a parent at that age"

there are far more risks of sex than just pregnancy. and what if you 'ended up' (no-one is ended up at 13) a parent? well it would be dealt with in some way or another just like if you were 23 or 33. you would have options and have to make a decision.

noisytoys Wed 10-Apr-13 12:10:06

I was sexually active at 13. I thought I was mature, i thought everyone was doing it so I need to do it to fit in. In hindsight it was ridiculous. And wasn't very good.

chrome100 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:15:43

My DP lost his virginity at 13 (needless to say he is much older than that now!). I was horrified (mainly because I was 22 blush ) but at 13 I was still climbing trees and watching kids' tv. I don't even think I wore a bra.

glossyflower Wed 10-Apr-13 12:15:43

It's a tricky one with lots of grey areas. I think at that age it's normal to be curious. Children of that age being sexually active with other children the same age you could say to an extent was acceptable but a child of 13 with someone older then no ... As I said grey areas.
Personally if it was my child I'd be mortified but I would equally like to be sensible about it and ensure they were comfortable to talk to me honestly about it so they didn't make any silly mistakes they would later regret.
Then I think about when I was 13 ... I had a bf a couple of years older and at one point I made the decision I would have sex with him ... Luckily I never had the courage to go and buy my own condoms so I never did (at least I was thinking safe!) I'm so glad I didn't now! At the time many of my friends were having sex. At least that's what they told me whether it was true was a different matter.
And I certainly don't think teenage sex is a new thing .,, it's always happened just before was never discussed.
If a young girl had a baby in days gone by, she'd be sent away and forced to give up her baby. These days a 13 year old having a baby is not unusual because people don't hide it away.

ComtesseDeSpair Wed 10-Apr-13 12:16:37

Generally speaking, throughout Europe, there doesn't seem to be much correlation between age of consent and teenage pregnancy. The countries with the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy have some of the lowest ages of consent (12 in the Netherlands providing the elder partner is not more than 5 years older; 14 in Germany, Austria and Italy. 15 in Iceland, Denmark and Sweden.

It depends on whether you think the age of consent should exist to prevent vulnerable children and young people being abused and exploited by older teenagers and adults; or to prevent children and young people from the difficulties of young parenthood. If you think the former, then surely it's far more pragmatic to take the approach the Netherlands or some parts of Australia do and legislate so that young people are able to have sex with other young people of the same age, as opposed to operating an older blanket age of consent which means that many vulnerable and immature 16-year-olds can still be preyed upon by predatory adults many years older than them perfectly legally.

The friends I knew at school who were having sex at 13/14 weren't prevented from doing so when their parents found out/were informed and prohibited them from seeing their boyfriend/girlfriend and grounded them. They just found other ways - bunking off school, making up after-school clubs and then meeting at the local park. If young people want to have sex and will do so regardless of their parents' actions, it's far more productive to talk to them about safe sex, healthy relationships and feeling able to say no if you don't want to do something anymore, and advise and assist with contraception and emotional support.

Branleuse Wed 10-Apr-13 12:19:57

a lot of kids that age are VERY interested in sex, and some will be actively seeking it.

most wont, but its puberty and hormone central.

I think if the object of my crush was in the slightest bit interested at that time I would have been totally up for it.

The age of consent laws are to protect kids from predators. they are not a sign of "readiness"

mummytime Wed 10-Apr-13 12:20:01

In the USA the age of consent is different from the age of marriage, the later is often lower. So you can be married at a younger age (and have sex) than you can have sex outside marriage. Also to transport a child under age across the State border to have sex is an offence, to marry them is not.

However, do also remember Supernanny is a TV program, and the parent's real reaction etc. might have been different to that shown on the screen.

As a mother of teens I can assure you that in the UK (and I suspect most countries of the world) most 13 year olds are not having sex.

DH lost his virginity at 11 behind his Sunday School, the girl was 13.

He doesn't feel any trauma or upset about it. I don't think had I been 11 I would of felt so calm, however I only waited until 13 and I don't regret it or feel unhappy about my decision.

HollyBerryBush Wed 10-Apr-13 12:26:17

I am going to make a sweeping generalisation here.

I can just about remember being a teenaged girl, even though its 35 odd years ago. I went to a girls school. Those girls who were sexually active at a very young age all had several things in common. Usually they were not academically inclined, more often than not they had no consistent father figure in their life and lastly there was often an emotional neglect going on at home. They were vulnerable and exploited.

Working in a school, I see that pattern still being repeated.

All I ever deduced about young sexually active girls, who also tend to have multiple partners, is that they are looking for affection and someone to love them and make them feel special, and it doesn't matter how fleetingly that moment lasts.

And they are still vulnerable and still exploited.

And I realise that isn't true of all young girls who are sexually active, but I'd say it was fair summary

But Holly what would be your generalisation for teen boys?

I think theres some truth in what you say for a certain group but not for all.

HollyBerryBush Wed 10-Apr-13 12:37:31

Teenaged boys? Hmm well, they don't tend to drop into my office and give me chapter and verse of their sex lives I'm afraid. Which, with some of the stuff the girls tell me, is a relief.

Most boys, I think, would like to be 'a player' but in reality it's all bravado. most boys aren't sexually active until a little older. That in its self shows that the ages within relationships are unequal eg 13yo girl/15yo boy thus the girl is effectively being exploited again even if she gives of the air of being promiscuous or precocious.

loopylou6 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:38:37

I found out my 13 ( 14 in a couple of weeks ) year old ds has lost his virginity the other day, he certainly isn't short of love and affection, has both parents at home, and a very close relationship with his grandparents.

SneezingwakestheJesus Wed 10-Apr-13 12:39:03

YANBU to think its too young for sex. I feel uncomfortable when I read or hear people sayings its okay if its consensual between two 13 year olds or two 14 year olds or those close in age. It completely ignores the fact that they are not fully developed emotionally or mature enough to understand fully what they are consenting to.

Pregnantandhorny Wed 10-Apr-13 12:42:47

I was sexually active from 12 though not piv sex at that point. Do I regret it? No. Would I do the same again? Possibly. Was I mature enough? I was mature enough to know that I wasn't mature enough to cope with a baby and therefore to steer clear of full intercourse.

Branleuse Wed 10-Apr-13 12:54:49

In reality though, theyre consenting to something that makes them feel really nice.

Sexuality is promoted everywhere, sex is promoted. PLUS it feels pretty damn good, both physically, and yes, it makes people feel wanted and validated too (rightly or wrongly)

I think understanding what will make kids want to have sex, and warning them of the downsides and risks but not pretending that theyre not going to want it and possibly seek it out.

superstarheartbreaker Wed 10-Apr-13 12:54:53

YANBU. I waited till I was 16 which probably makes me a geek. Whilst I don't regret my first encounter I wish I'd waited til 18 ...I certainly wasn't ready for the emotional aspects of sex and would have avoided a few shite relationships.

Step Wed 10-Apr-13 14:33:29

Phew thank goodness for late puberty in our two older ones!

kerala Wed 10-Apr-13 14:33:48

I used to be a family solicitor a parent allowing a 13 year old to have sex at home was one of the grounds the local authority used for taking a child into care.

Lueji Wed 10-Apr-13 14:35:50

Not sure how are parents supposed to prevent their children from having sex. hmm

Kendodd Wed 10-Apr-13 14:40:19

I started a thread about staggering the age of consent recently.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1722919-To-think-the-age-of-consent-should-be-raised-to-18

Most people didn't seem to think it was a good idea.

lljkk Wed 10-Apr-13 14:52:44

I remember being extremely embarrassed that I was a 13yo virgin. I thought I would die, actually DIE, if I had to wait until 16 (ended up being a few yrs later, even).

I think a TV programme can't really cover all the nuances, OP.

I don't like to see normal human behaviour criminalised (13yos wanting to have sex with other 13yos is within the normal range).

Hulababy Wed 10-Apr-13 14:56:17

I have never yet met a 13y child, in this country, who is really emotionally mature enough to be having a sexual relationship.

I worked in secondary schools for over 10 years and met a lot of children, some more mature than others, some more worldly wise than others. Some were having sex at this age.

But not one of those 13y were really of an age where they should have been comtemplating sex.

13y is still a child.

Lueji Wed 10-Apr-13 14:59:13

In fact, when I ran a young teenagers' group at Church, I obviously told them that it was best not to have sex outside of marriage and the reasons why. But, should they choose to do it, then to protect themselves.

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