Saying yes: sexual consent is made explicit through the verbal communication of one’s will
The present study (Righi, Bogen, & Kuo, 2019) aims to investigate how a sample of 33 teenagers aged between 14 and 18 defines the concept of sexual consent, with the aim of stimulating sex education and preventing violence sexual.
Advertising message The adolescent age can be defined as the period during which individual identity is formed, thanks to the set of interpersonal relationships and experiences lived in this crucial moment of development. It is at this stage that the adolescent increases awareness of their body changes and explores sexuality within the couple for the first time (Miller, 2017). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2016) report that 30% of U.S. teenagers say they have had sex with at least one partner in the past 3 months and Fortenberry and colleagues (2010) report that starting from age by 17 years 50% of males and 40% of females have an active sex life.
Although Hickman and Muehlenhard (1999) believe that consent is expressed as “the free verbal or non-verbal communication of a feeling of willingness to engage in sexual activity”, Jozkowski (2015) limits this concept by emphasizing that it can be defined as such only l verbal explanation of the will to engage in sexual activity, but since there are various points of view and lacking clear and universal indications, consent is very often subordinated to the recognition and understanding of all the verbal and non-verbal signals received by the other person and this leads to an increase in errors made regarding the interpretation of the partner’s intentions.
Starting from these premises, the present study (Righi, Bogen, & Kuo, 2019) wants to investigate how a sample of 33 teenagers aged between 14 and 18 defines the concept of consent, with the aim of promoting sexual education and prevent sexual violence. After joining the study and knowing in detail the structure and objectives of the study, semi-structured interviews were conducted aimed at exploring the perception that boys have of dating and sexual behavior.
Advertising message The results showed that teenagers agree that the consent is expressed through verbal communication of the same (saying yes), but that in real life situations they do not wait for the other person to express their will, but they are mainly based on the interpretation of non-verbal cues, such as silence, the exchange of glances, or the act of taking off one’s clothes. It was also found that females must express their consent to a greater extent than males, as the latter usually play the role of initiators of the sexual act and consider the lack of an explicit “no” as a signal that the partner is consenting . Moreover,
In conclusion, we can say that what was found in this survey helps to understand the data on sexual violence and urges an urgent need for attention to sex education in a particularly delicate phase of life, as it is in this period that identity is formed individual and the set of values that the subject uses as a guide for the perception of himself and others. Activities that should therefore be encouraged in the school environment include: normalization of the discussion on sexual consent and the use of tools such as role-playing to improve communication within the love relationship, so as to increase the ability to recognize the partner’s needs and intentions, as well as that of assertively expressing their decisions in a sexual context (Beres,