Fact; The USA and the UK have the most pathetic, dumb ass attitude towards sex education in schools. They have high teen pregnancy rates.
Fact; Holland has comprehensive sex education at school, and teen pregnancy rates a FRACTION of the US's or the UK's.
Fact; The USA and the UK have lower ages of first sexual experiences than Holland.
Conclusion; Teach them young, it won't encourage them to have sex earlier, if anything it'll put them off. And when they do have sex, they will know how to avoid undesirable side-effects.
To pretend there is a magic age is dumb. People have sexual desire before 21, or 18, or (shock, horror) 16. I agree that it is better to wait until there is a degree of emotional maturity, but that emotional maturity is only gained by living life to the full, and that includes having sex.
I think many people's attitudes are understandably affected by their unease at the thought of minors having sexual thoughts. I've taught in school, and in a classroom of 14 year olds you have young men and young women as well as the boys and girls. The only way of dealing with this is to accept it, even if it makes us uneasy. Our standards of sexual maturity in moderen society are very wise and just in that they prevent the exploiting of minors, but people under the age of 16 have been getting it on for millenia, and nothing changes that fact.
Do a little research, comparative cultures, anthropology, etc.!
What is essential is that minors are protected from sexually predatory adults and more mature minors who might use peer pressure on them.
The only way to do this is to give the kids knowledge at a young age so that it is NOT an embaressing issue. If it's embaressing issue it gets hid. If it's an unspoken issue it gets hid.
If it gets hid, the chances of abuse increase.
I had an ex-girlfriend who only stopped sexual play between her and a group of boys her age when she realised that it wasn't normal and that she was being used. If she had had that knowledge to start off with, it would not have happened.
Keep on rocking in the free world...