The Instigator
Con (against)
6 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

15 is a better age of sexual consent than 18

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/18/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,367 times Debate No: 25668
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




I was hoping to create a debate without choosing a position myself, thus allowing my opponent to choose whichever side they'd like and leaving me to argue the opposite position. But since I apparently can't do that I'm hoping instead to debate one side, and upon conclusion rehash the debate (presumably with a different opponent) with my position flipped around. For this first debate I've chosen to take the position I agree with least - that age of consent should be 18 rather than 15. I consider both positions to be pretty equally sub-optimal, but I've chosen them to amplify the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Round 1 - Acceptance, definitions
Rounds 2, 3 - Introduce and counter arguments
Round 4 - No new arguments, conclusions

PRO will argue that the age of consent should be 15
CON will argue that the age of consent should be 18
For this debate I have chosen CON.

No semantics. This debate encompasses whether - as a matter of law, morals, practicality, or any other reasonable and relevant reason - it makes more sense for the age of sexual consent to be 15, or 18 in the USA. If you wish to clarify or add any definitions please do so in round 1.

PLEASE - Only accept if you plan to actually follow through with all 4 rounds, I've not actually been able to engage in a real debate yet because of flaky opponents.


Guidelines for the Policy
  • This shall be concerning safe sex only, the issue of teenage pregnancy shall be irrelevant as the law shall state that impregnating a girl shouldn't happen before 18
  • The issue of maturity is nonsense, some 15 year olds are far more mentally mature than some 18 years olds and at 15 almost all boys have hit puberty[1][2] and thus are perfectly capable to have sex without doing what they shouldn't naturally do at their age
The Proposed Policy

All males and female that have had their fifteenth birthday shall be able to legally have sex with all adults. However, impregnation of a girl who has not yet finished her higher education (18 in USA) should not feel the need to get pregnant and if she is impregnated by someone over 18, this is a huge social issue and shall be dealt with in the following manner:
  1. If the male is 18 or over and the female is under 18 he must be fully charge for any additional costs to the female's family regarding costs for the baby and/or abortion (depending on The Female's family's decision)
  2. If the male is 15-17, abortion will be mandatory
  3. If the male is under 15, since the age of consent is now 15 and the female was of consent she has commited statutory rape in the pedophilic sense, since no longer is 'under 18' the boundary, she shall be charged with rape unless the boy did it against her will
    • If the boy, under 15, turns out to have overpowered the girl, standard rape procedure shall take place
    • If the boy, under 15, turns out to have supposedly 'consensual' sex with the girl, 15-18, abortion will be mandatory and the girl will be charged with pedophilic rape, as is standard with the 18 year old age of consent at present
Incest, rape and blackmailed sex shall be dealt with as laws apply, apart from that the age of consent is now 15, any part of the laws and policies stating '18' shall be replaced with '15'. Any 15+ year old male that engages with sex with a female under 15 and is caught can, and will, be prosecuted as an adult for pedophilic rape, since sexually he will now be considered an adult.

That is all for the policy.


Age of sexual consent: the minimum age at which a person is considered to be legally competent to consent to sexual acts.[3]
Sexual: relating to the instincts, physiological processes, and activities connected with physical attraction or intimate physical contact between individuals.[4]

Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate!

My opponent appears to start in round one (acceptance and definitions,) by asserting his position as a definition in the form of a proposed policy (Policy) and guidelines for that policy (Guidelines). Therefore, as a matter of definition, I of course must reject his Proposal and the Guidelines therein. I do however accept the definitions he contributes for “Age of sexual consent” and “sexual”.

It’s unclear whether my opponent meant to submit his Proposal and Guidelines as the full position he wishes to defend. In an attempt to not disregard his efforts completely, and because many of the clauses present in the Proposal are relevant to the debate, I will likely touch on many of the issues he has presented. However, since posted in Round 1 – reserved exclusively for acceptance and definitions – and thus rejected as a definition, it is up to my opponent to re-introduce any topics he feels are relevant that I may not formally introduce this round.

Point 1: Age of Majority
The age of majority is “the chronological moment when minors cease to legally be considered children and assume control over their persons, actions, and decisions, thereby terminating the legal control and legal responsibilities of their parents or guardian over and for them.” [1] While this is not the same as age of consent, and perhaps often gets confused with age of consent, it is significant due to the ramifications (such as pregnancy!) that consensual sex can bring upon a minor that the parents of that minor would ultimately be responsible for. This is a primary reason why age of consent should in fact match up with the age of majority – which is almost universally 18, including in the USA. A parent should not be held responsible to provide financially for their daughter’s pregnancy or child if they don’t agree with it and had no part in it. But if the daughter is legally able to consent to sex as a matter of personal choice at an age younger than 18 then the parent has no right to restrict that particular choice, nor do they have a right over the girl’s body to force an abortion, not even a right to force an adoption of the child. With the divergence between age of consent and age of majority the parents become responsible for a whole additional human being without any legal say in the matter.

Point 2: Prevent unwanted pregnancies
Pregnancy is the #1 reason girls drop out of school.[2] It’s imperative that students finish high school, and an unwanted pregnancy contributes toward them quitting early and not receiving a diploma. With a lower age of consent it stands to reason that the frequency of teenage sexual encounters would increase, and as a direct result so would the frequency of teenage pregnancy.

Point #3: Maturity
Research suggests that the human brain does not fully develop until age 21-22 in females, and age 30 in males. [3] Furthermore, “Studies in both humans and other animals have suggested that the dopamine system peaks in activity during adolescenese. If this is true, the abundance of dopamine might lead to different considerations of short-term and long-term rewards and consequences” in teenagers. [4] Because of this it is possible that teenagers may not properly consider consequences when engaging in sexual activity, lending credence to a higher age of consent in order to protect them from sexual exploitation from adults.

In conclusion, I would like to briefly address a few points from my opponents Proposal should he choose to formally introduce these points in the debate during his next two rounds:

• It is illogical to create a divergent legal system wherein sex between an adult and a 15 year old is legal, however an adult impregnating a 15 year old is not. Pregnancy is an unpredictable effect of sex and is likely under more control of the younger party (typically being female) due to birth control options available as well as personal knowledge of their menstrual/fertility cycle.
• It is unreasonable to state that when the elder male party is over 18 that he would be financially responsible for the child or for the abortion at the family descrition, the that if the elder male was under 18 then abortion would be mandatory. In fact, stating at all that abortion would be mandatory is completely unreasonable, or at very least a topic for another debate all in itself.
• If the law is concerning “safe sex” only then a detailed definition would
need apply, and it is up to my opponent to prove that such safe sex is reliable and could be verified in a court of law. Also it should be noted that birth control is against some religions and therefore could not be considered a mandatory pre-requisite under the law.

[1] -
[2] -
[3] -
[4] -


I am not impressed with the response. The point #2 is contradictive of my policy. My policy made it so that pregnancy till high school is over shouldn't be legal. So... It's not a real point to raise.

I shall now rebut my opponent and reinforce my proposed policy plan.

That age of majority concept is firstly irrelevant and secondly isn't a well established fact since maturity is, somewhat, subjective as much as it is objective so cannot be used as the full backing for an entire contradiction to the age of consent being 15. The fact of human life is that at 13, most boys begin puberty[1] and at 10, most girls[1]. Thus, by 15 the body is pretty much ready to have sex especially for females but socially they would be unready to be pregnant for school purposes so that's just an illogical argument for con.

The fact I think I simply want to state (which counters almost all points raised by con) is that it is possible to have an age of consent for sex that is different to the age when one becomes an 'adult'. the reason is that sex is merely a pleasurable experience that can be very safe and enjoyable for both parties (or more parties, but let's not get sidetracked). An adult is, I would say, a human that has reached a stage f maturity whereby they are fully capable of being independent and responsible in society. However, despite a 15 year old having not quite reached this stage of maturity, they are entering the world of 'higher education' where, in most countries, external examinations occur for the individual. They already begin building the reputation, via school reports and commendations, for their future success in university and the working world. They clearly have a reasonable level to decide and use their bodies in a sensible manner (hence most universities analysing students' success form this age onwards). However, they are not fully finished on their journey into adulthood but have reached what I would call an 'intermediate stage of maturity' whereby they are mature enough to consent to sex but not mature enough to independently make decisions in all sectors of life.

Yes, this is safe sex, I don't understand how you can think a 15 year old should have unsafe sex... I didn't quite understand that argument you put at the end.


Debate Round No. 2


Point #1: Age of Majority – Carried from R2
Despite the connection evident in my R2 argument connecting Age of Majority as being a practical consideration regarding the most appropriate Age of Consent, my opponent has labeled the Age of Majority as irrelevant without providing any suggestions or rationale whatsoever as to why he refutes the case I have clearly laid out in R2. Instead he says that age of majority is not a well-established fact, which makes little sense. The Age of Majority in the USA is, factually, 18 at a minimum[1]. While I agree that maturity is somewhat subjective that is not my point, and this debate is not about changing the Age of Majority – I simply am pointing out that the Age of Majority is one legitimate reason why 18 is a more suitable Age of Consent than 15. This is not based on physical maturity, nor social appropriateness of pregnancy in high school as my opponent seems to suggest. It simply is a practical matter that delineation of responsibility is best handed off in full at 18, and the lines should not be blurred before then by a 15 year old being able to make legal choices which may result in pregnancy. Therefore my R2 Point #1 regarding Age of Majority still stands.

Point #2: Prevent Unwanted Pregnancies – Carried from R2
My opponent seems to think that pregnancy can be separated from sex and independently made illegal, and this is not so. If he believes it to be so then the burden of proof is on him and I will address his argument in my conclusions in R4. I clearly and pre-emptively stated in the first point of my R2 conclusion that it is illogical to separate sex and pregnancy into two divergent legal matters. Pregnancy is not a choice by either party – it happens largely based on chance. The factors that contribute toward pregnancy having a much higher chance of occurrence – ie, knowledge of fertility cycle, knowledge of and proper administration of birth control - are all within the control of the [typically younger] female partner. It does not make sense that an older male would NOT face any punishment for having sex with a 15 year old female, but he WOULD face financial and criminal punishment if - by sheer chance and a degree of control on the part of the younger female - she DID get pregnant! That’s simply nonsense. If two parties willingly consent to sexual relations there is ALWAYS a chance of pregnancy, that chance cannot be separated from the original consent to engage in sex. The fact that a 15 year old has a fully sexually developed physical body does not mean they have control over pregnancy, and at 15 we both recognize that pregnancy is not beneficial. The only way to reduce the occurrence is to reduce the occurrence of the sex that leads to it, and a 3 year higher age of consent would logically restrict the occurrence of sex and thus the occurrence of pregnancy. My R2 Point #2 regarding the reduction of teenage pregnancies still stands.

Point #3: Maturity – Accepted
I did not see any arguments by my opponent refuting the age of full development for the human brain and the suggestion that due to a non-fully developed brain teenagers may not properly consider consequences of sexual activity. Therefore I will assume for now that this point has been accepted by my opponent.

R3 Final Thoughts
Finally, my opponent has misunderstood me regarding safe sex, somehow drawing an absurd conclusion that I’ve suggested unsafe sex should be practiced. I never stated that I think a 15 year old should have unsafe sex. This is in fact against my entire argument that a 15 year old should have NO sex. I simply said that it was up to my opponent to define “safe sex” as pertinent to his proposal, should he wish to officially introduce any element of that proposal as an argument, which he has failed to do. Since he has not introduced this argument there is nothing for me to refute here! I simply made a helpful suggestion that should he choose to introduce the argument he should save his time unless he can provide a legally compelling rationale that accounts for religious rejection of birth control, as it is an obvious problem to his idea of separating safe-sex from unsafe-sex let alone separating sex from pregnancy!

[1] -


My debate essentially can be broken down into two questions to be answered by con:

If someone is physically mature to have sex and enjoy it safely, without getting pregnant or retaining STD's, why should we ban them from this?

If, at age 15, people can enjoy a sexual relationship, or just sex itself, but would be devastated to be pregnant and if contraception and sex education are pillars of our modern society why should we use the fact that they COULD get pregnant as reason to not allow it safely?
Debate Round No. 3


I will address Pro"s final two questions in reverse order, as the first is dependent on the second:

Because, at age 15, people would be devastated to be pregnant we should not allow them legal sexual relations for the following reasons:
1) Contraception and sex education are not fool proof. Continuous Abstinence is the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and protect against STDs[1]
2) Although he insists that 15 year olds should only have safe sex, Con has continuously ignored that this could never be legally mandated as such due to failure rates as well as religious complications that cannot simply be shrugged off
3) The use of most contraceptive methods, particularly the more effective ones, carries a plethora of negative side effects[1] that are likely to be distracting to the education a 15 year old should otherwise be receiving.

Therefore, although someone is physically mature enough to have and perhaps enjoy sex, we should not immediately allow it because:
1) There is no guarantee, and can never be a guarantee that they will not get pregnant or contract an STD. This is evidenced by statistical failure rates of contraception as well as common sense in observing how many teen pregnancies currently occur. Frequency of sex increases the frequency of pregnancy " even with very good contraception in place and used correctly (a failure rate of 1%), if 100 girls have sex an average of 5 times throughout the year this suggests that 5 girls are likely to get pregnant. In a fairly typical high school of 1400, 700 of which would be girls " that means 35 girls would be likely to get pregnant each year. Therefore frequency of sex should be limited " and disallowing it is most effective for this.
2) Even if we lived in a magical alternative universe where unicorns pranced about and we could enjoy the physical stimulation of sex while either party was able to choose with absolute certainty not to become pregnant or contract an STD, this does not address the emotional effects of a sexual relationship. Due to the developing nature of a 15 year old, these effects are likely to be most intense in this age group and should not be overlooked as being psychologically harmful and distracting.


Pro has failed to contest Point #1 (logical demarcation of responsibility coinciding with Age of Majority), and Point #3 (Lack of maturity and brain development at age 15.) Additionally, Pro has provided a weak and erroneously presumptive argument for Point #2 (preventing unwanted pregnancies.) He has failed to formally submit any of his ideas erroneously introduced in R1, and has also failed to provide answers or even argument for important questions that have been raised throughout the debate. His entire stance is based upon an imaginary situation that is very far removed from reality, and he has failed to ground his reasoning in a realistic context. His citation is weak and lacks substance. His arguments have been sloppy and lack structure.

Vote Con! I have provided ample reason why 15 as the Age of Consent rather than 18 - 1) would result in an increase of unwanted teen pregnancies as a function of increased teen sex, 2) blurs the lines of responsibility between what a legal minor can choose to do and what their parents are ultimately legally responsible for, and 3) is not taking the psychological or educational well-being of the younger party into consideration. I have provided key citation where necessary, and I have responded to every point my opponent has raised. I have kept my arguments structured and able to be easily referenced and read. I thank my opponent for this debate, as well as all those who may read and/or vote on it in the future.




I think I can see why we disagree.

You seem to think that an age of consent must include EVERY SINGLE THING that goes with what is being consented to. However, no law does this. The age of consent for alcohol, in most non-Muslim countries, is 18 (Muslim states tend to prefer the age of 21). Nonetheless it is true to say that anyone, especially those 18+, whom die of liver cancer, whom abuse their children and wife due to alcohol abuse and whom are unable to stop require legal intervention. This is the key flaw in the entire con's debate.

You basically have one contention only: That if we allow 15 year olds to engage in safe sex, with regulated frequency for a healthy life, we are therefore legalising pregnancy. However, in my policy I laid out a clear legal system by which this issue is avoided or dealt with appropriately. I took the very well-implemented and founded laws of the current American (a significantly regarded somewhat democratic) society and merely replaced any dealings with age of 18 with '15'. However, due to an overlap in age, for many educational and thus practical reason, I stated that there shall be an extra policy as follows; If the male is 15-17, abortion will be mandatory. The reasoning behind this is that we can't have underage pregnancy causing overpopulation. Since you didn't state if this age would be relevant to a less economically developed country, I was unsure of how much regulation would be required in terms of population overgrowth. Thus, this policy was made to be applicable to most states/countries in the world today.

In conclusion, the only rebuttal of my opponent the entire debate is irrelevant, safe sex is very necessary to prevent both STD spreading and underage pregnancy (there was not one piece of justified evidence in order to validate the point that the age of legal pregnancy must be equal to the age of sex, it is like stating that countries where the legal age of consent is under 18, for example it is 16 in the U.K., yet 18 remains the age for pornography are flawed laws, you would be arguing the laws of well-established democracies and this, you did not do). My points remain, as I shall now re-iterate, that at 15 the majority of humans are fully physically and mentally ready for a sexual relationship, however I accept that educationally they are not at the stage where having a child should be allowed to mess up their future prospects so severely as to reduce their efficiency at high school, thus safe sex should indeed be mandatory, I assumed this was self explanatory from my proposed policy but nonetheless I hope to have explained why this should be the case. I have also stated how the enjoyment of sex is a great form of pleasure, in moderation, and the only real way to teach the kids who are bound to be having strong urges to do it regardless of legality, is to introduce them into the activity itself in a 'safe zone' in which contraception is a MUST! (They can enjoy the riskier sides of sex, if they so wish, when they are legally considered fully grown adults, which in most countries is at 18).

Vote pro.

Have a nice day. And a nicer tomorrow.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by danjr10 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: The pro side didnt make sense to me. If the consentual age is 15 the law cannot controll the pregnacy rate.