This information will help you learn about the laws in Canada that protect you and your right to make choices about sex and relationships.
Sexual activity includes kissing, sexual touching, and sexual intercourse (e.g.,
The choice to have sex, or not, is very personal. Only you can decide what is right for you.
Consent means partners agree to the sexual activity and everyone understands what they’re agreeing to. Partners must give and get consent every time they have sex.
cannot give consent if they’re:
Sexual activity without consent is sexual
When the time comes to think about having sex, everyone has the right to make their own choices. Consent laws are to protect you and help you enjoy healthy relationships.
According to the law in Canada,
age of consent means the
legal age when a youth can make a decision to have sex or not.
The law says a 16-year-old can consent to sex,
except if the:
By law, you must be 18 to have sex with a person in a position of authority.
According to the law, a 14 or 15-year-old can consent to sex if the partner
is less than 5 years older and not in a position of authority.
According to the law, a 12 or 13-year-old can consent to sex if the partner is
less than 2 years older and not in a position of authority.
Children younger than 12 years old
cannot consent to any type of sexual activity. Having sex with a child younger than 12 is against the law and is sexual abuse.
In Alberta, anyone younger than 18 can go to a medical clinic without a parent’s permission if they are a mature minor.
mature minor means you fully understand:
How well you
understand information is more important than how old you are.
You have the right to:
If you’re a mature minor, healthcare providers can
only share information with your parents (including if you went to a clinic) if they have your permission.
Talk to a parent (or an adult you trust) if you’ve had:
Current as of: October 21, 2019
Author: Sexual & Reproductive Health, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.