How Old Do You Have To Be To Buy Condoms

Condom age

You might have wondered how old a person should be when he or she is permitted to purchase a condom. The good news is that you can legally buy condoms at any age.

Perhaps the real question that you should be asking is how to buy them or what to expect when using them.

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Is There A Legal Age To Buy Condoms In The U.S.?

The answer to this question is no because there is no legal age required to do it in the United States. The only thing that you have to be certain is that you have to be at the right age to have sex in order to use condoms.

This is referred to the age of consent in which the United States has different interpretations in various states. So a valid debatable question is ‘why would you need to buy condoms at the age of 15 or so?’

Age Of Consent

This depends on how a particular state in the U.S. defines age of consent [1]. So any age group can be made legal to have sex, as laws change over time.

It is very important to determine the legal age to have sex in the U.S. to avoid jail time for being unaware of the existing laws. This will also vary by jurisdiction, as it is different in Mexico or Canada.

Take note that the age of consent is when a person can be legally competent to consent to sex or sexual intercourse.

On the other hand, if an adult will engage in sexual activity with a person having been younger than the age of consent can’t legally claim it to be consensual.

Therefore, the said sexual activity can be considered child statutory rape or sexual abuse. In this case, the person below the minimum age is the victim, while the older sexual partner is the offender.

However, the circumstances are different when both are underage. Thus, setting up an age of consent will be able to protect an underage person from any sexual advances.

Age Of 18

If you reached the age of 18, this is your age of consent when you live in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming or Wisconsin.

Age Of 17

On the other hand, the states of Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, or New York consider the age of 17 to be your age of consent.

Age Of 16

All the remaining states in the U.S. not mentioned consider 16 years old as the age of consent. That is if you want to be sure that you are legal.

Heterosexual Age Of Consent In Different Countries

Globally, the most common age of sexual consent is 18 years or even above (21 in some nations).

  • Some parts of the U.S., India and Egypt consider the age of 18 as the age of consent.
  • In many other countries, including Namibia and the U.K., the age of 16 is the age of consent.
  • In Sweden, 15 years old is the age of consent.
  • In Canada, 14 years old is the age of consent.
  • In Korea, 13 years old is the age of consent.
  • In Mexico, 12.2 years old is the age of consent.

You may react to the lower age groups considered to be the age of consent in other countries but that is how they interpret it and they have a law to back it up.

Age differential

Age differential is another vital thing to know. When teenagers have sex, they must know that law has set limits between the maximum allowed age difference between the partners, and is usually 2 to 4 years.

So, for example, if a 14 years old girl decides to have intercourse, her partner should not be more than 2 years older than her.

Sex life starts at quite a young age for many

Legal things apart, it is no secret that in many cases, sex life may start much earlier. In many countries, there is a trend of starting sex life in early teenage.

A survey in the UK seems to indicate that perhaps most people in the country would have first sex in their teenage. Some girls and boys as young as 12, 13, to 14 years are engaged in sexual activities [2].

In the US, studies show more conservative estimates than many European nations. Nonetheless, about half of men and women report having their first sex in teenage [3].

However, some surveys show that situation may be different. Some studies are suggesting that as many as up to 8% of boys in the US might be having their first sex in some areas of the US before the age of 13 [4].

When To Buy Condoms?

If you are not certain if you need condoms or not, it is certainly better to be ready than be sorry at the end. So you ought to make a small investment to buy some so that you will always have them around when needed.

Most of the time, a box or pack of 12s is sold at around $10, depending on the quantity and brand.

Who Is Responsible To Buy Condoms?

In many countries all over the world, it is always been the assumption that the male should have a condom in his pocket as it is his responsibility to keep his partner or date safe.

However, with such practice, so many young females have been impregnated and exposed to sexually-transmitted diseases.

That said, the girls should also have the right to purchase condoms and have them readily available when needed. In fact, there are male and female condoms you can buy from common places like drugstores, grocery stores, or gas stations.

Myths about male condoms

Many myths are surrounding male condoms, and in some cases, these myths might be a reason for many young adults not opting to use condoms. Some of the most common myths are:

  • Myth: One can buy condoms only after the age of 18– there is no legal age for buying condoms. Teenagers are free to purchase condoms from supermarkets or pharmacies. Teenagers are encouraged to use them, as they also protect from sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Myth: Using two condoms is safer– some wrongly believe that wearing two condoms might provide additional protection. Modern condoms are tested for quality, and wearing two condoms will only reduce the quality of sexual experience. More important is to learn to choose the right sized condom and learning to wear it correctly.
  • Myth: Condom might easily break– there used to be days when latex condoms were not very strong. But modern condoms are manufactured using better technologies, and they are not even essentially made from latex. They go through several quality tests to ensure that chances of their breaking are minimal. It is sporadic for condoms to break during sex, and that might only happen when not worn correctly.
  • Myth: You must use lube with condoms – No, not at all. Most condoms are well lubricated. By using petroleum jelly like Vaseline, or oil based lubricants like baby oil & cosmetic creams, one may weaken condoms and only increase the risk of breaking. If you want to use lubricants make sure that they are water based or silicone based, both of which are safe to use with condoms
  • Myth: Condoms cut off circulation– it is entirely wrong. If someone feels that condom is too tight, that may be only due to selecting the wrong size. Even smaller size condom is not going to cut circulation or harm.
  • Myth: You don’t need condoms for oral sex– there is a reason why condoms come in flavors. Many diseases can be transmitted through oral sex (gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes), and condoms can help protect.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, there is no age limit at which one can buy or possess condoms. In fact, young adults are encouraged to use condoms (thus buy) more frequently.

Using condoms to have sex means that you are sharing the responsibility to protect yourself against STDs and unwanted pregnancy.

Aside from pregnancy, it can also prevent against STDs that may carry no symptoms or lay dormant. So if precautions are not taken, new relationships could be plagued by illness.

References:

  1. Sexual Intercourse with Minors. ASPE. Published November 23, 2015. Accessed July 1, 2020. [ link ]
  2. NHS Borders. Sexual activity and the under-sixteens. Accessed July 1, 2020. [ link ]
  3. NSFG – Listing S – Key Statistics from the National Survey of Family Growth. Published November 6, 2019. Accessed July 1, 2020. [ link ]
  4. Gordon S. New study finds some boys are having sex before age 13. Published April 8, 2019. Accessed July 1, 2020. [link ]



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