When it comes to sex, do you know what is and is not legal in your state or country? If not, you could inadvertently break a law and get in some pretty serious trouble for doing so!
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The age of consent is the age that a person can legally agree to have sex. A person over the age of consent who has sex with someone under the age of consent can be charged with a crime for having sex with the younger person, regardless of whether or not the younger person agrees to have sex.
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The age of consent varies between states and countries. In some states, laws are different depending on the gender of the people involved. Age of consent laws are designed to protect teens from adult predators. Sometimes they can end up punishing kids in non-coercive situations. It is really important for gay teens, who already face hurdles when it comes to their sexuality to know the law and how it affects them.
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These days the term "sodomy" is generally only used in a legal context. It may refer to anal sex, oral sex, or even bestiality (sex with animals). Many countries still have laws prohibiting sodomy, even between consenting adults. In 2003, the United States Supreme Court declared that sodomy laws were unconstitutional, and the laws were repealed. Other countries, however, still have restrictions against sodomy.
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Sex toys, are perfectly healthy and safe. However, in most American States, it is illegal for teens to buy sex toys if they are under 18, or even 21. In some states, it is illegal to buy sex toys at any age. In fact, there have been a few cases where retailers have been prosecuted for selling sex toys to adults!
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"Sexting" refers to sending sexual pictures or messages via text or picture messages. Recently, there have been some high profile cases involving teens who have actually been charged with the crime of manufacturing child pornography for doing this! Even if you aren't worried about the legal issues surrounding sexting, there are a lot of reasons that sending a naked picture of yourself isn't always a great idea.
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When it comes to porn (which basically refers to depictions of sex or nudity) everyone feels differently. Some are morally opposed. It makes others feel uncomfortable. And a lot of people find it arousing. Of course, teens need to realize that if they are under 18, it is actually illegal for them to look at porn. Still, plenty of teens will come across porn before this time. If they do, they should realize that while it might be a turn on, most porn doesn't reflect reality.