A leading public health expert has said that the government should think of decreasing the age approved for sex to 15 years.
A nationwide debate has been called by Professor John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health. According to him, society sends `confused' signs related to the permitted age for sex. He suggests that up to one-third of teenagers have sex before of the present age of consent which is 16 years.
Prof. Ashton told the Sunday Times that decreasing the age by one year could `draw a line in the sand' against sex at 14 or less. It would also make it easier for 15-year-olds who are in sexual relations to attain contraception or sexual health recommendation from the NHS.
He said," Because we are so confused about this and we have kept the age of consent at 16, the 15-year-olds don't have clear routes to getting some support".
The Faculty of Public Health, part of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, recommends ministers and civil servants even though it is self-governing government.
David Tucker, head of policy at the NSPCC, said that he would be glad to have a discussion on the issue but also said that he want to see the proof of the claims by Prof Ashton.