Although what the law says is important, it is not the most
important thing. The most important thing is how you feel about what you
What is consent?
The age of consent in Scotland is 16. This is true whether you are straight, lesbian, gay or bisexual. This means that 16 is the age that the law thinks you are old enough to say yes to having sex with someone else. Sex includes any sexual act, including oral sex (stimulating your partner’s genitals with your mouth). Sex does not have to involve a penis.
The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 tell us that consent means "free agreement".
The law says there are some situations where you can’t give free agreement, and these are:
- When someone is incapable of consenting because of the effects of alcohol or drugs
- When someone is asleep or unconscious
- When someone agrees because they are unlawfully detained
- When someone agrees because of threats of violence
- When someone agrees because the person is pretending to be someone else
This means that if someone has sex with you when you are asleep or when you are too drunk / on drugs, then this is rape. This is also true if you have sex with someone because you are scared of what they will do if you don’t, or if they are stopping you from leaving somewhere.
The law also says that you can withdraw your consent at any time. This means that if you are having sex with someone and you change your mind but they carry on, this is also rape. If you have experienced any of these things, you can get support from the Rosey Project.
Consent is also only considered legal in Scotland over the age of 16, which is referred to as the "age of consent". This is the case whether you are straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender.