It is a controversial question of whether or not minors should be allowed to have sex for recreation or engage in sexual activities such as sexting.
The debate includes whether or not minors can meaningfully consent to have sex with each other, and whether they can meaningfully consent to have sex with adults.
In western countries, the legal concept of "informed consent" often sets the public standards on this issue.
Children, the mentally handicapped, the mentally ill, animals, prisoners, and people under the influence of drugs like alcohol might be considered in certain situations as lacking an ability to give an informed consent. State is a state court case ruling that a person can withdraw sexual consent and that continuing sexual activity in the absence of consent constitutes rape.
In some cultures sexual intercourse outside marriage is controversial, if not totally unacceptable, or even illegal.
In some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, any form of sexual activity outside marriage is illegal.
Throughout history, a whole range of consensual sexual acts, such as adultery, fornication, interracial or interfaith sex, 'sodomy' (see sodomy laws) have been prohibited; while at the same time various forced sexual encounters such as rape of a slave, prostitute, war enemy, and most notably of a spouse, were not illegal.
Nevertheless, historically, this has not necessarily been the case.
Enthusiastic consent, as expressed in the slogan "Yes means yes," is typically the focus of liberal sexual ethics, rather than marriage.
Age of consent is also a key issue in sexual ethics.
Based on historical and cultural context, Feminist views on sexuality has widely varied.
Sexual representation in the media, the sex industry, and issues concerning consent to sex under conditions of male dominance are controversial topics among feminists.