Consent is Sexy – Consent is Mandatory says that consent is: to commit, approve, or agree. So my question is, why is this such a hard concept for some people to grasp, and why are we not teaching this to young people?

Within her chapter Beyond Yes or No Rachel Bussel discusses how youth need to know the importance of consent, not just in the beginning, but all through sexual activities. She gives the example of a Yes, No, Maybe Chart to go through with a sexual partner as a way of recognizing what you or your partner may potentially find erotic. Bussel goes on to discuss enthusiastic consent which states “unless you get an affirmative yes from a sexual partner, you don’t know what they really want” (Yes Means Yes, 2008, p. 46).

The reason that consent is so important is because both partners need to feel comfortable voicing what they are/are not comfortable with. By doing this we may begin to eradicate the idea of the sexual double standard, in which, men are allowed to have all the sex and women are not. A perfect world would be on where everyone was free to do what they wanted with their bodies without scrutiny, particularly women.

In the chapter Hooking-Up with Healthy Sexuality Brad Perry continues the discussion on consent. He describes his first sexual encounter, which did not go well. He was denied by a young girl who he tried to “hook-up” with. Instead of getting angry and blaming the girl, he took his actions and really thought about what he did: was it right to try and get her drunk first? Later in his life he found out that one of his close female friends was raped by her boyfriend and he again looks back at his choice to comply with Janice’s refusal to perform sexual activities with him and questions himself on the idea of: what if he ignored her request?

Perry explains that as a young boy he thought that the only way to “get some” was to have the girl be under the influence. I’m sure he is not the first male to believe this notion and he won’t be the last. This directly links to Perry’s idea that school systems can’t teach young people about sexual health promotion and sexual violence prevention separately, they must be intertwined. Healthy sexuality and knowledge about sexual violence go hand-in-hand. Which means, government funding cannot continue to pump funds into abstinence-only programs because they are proven unsuccessful, and this needs to be recognized.

In closing, I believe in the words said by both Bussel and Perry. We need to create sexual education programs in which students learn to become knowledgeable about their bodies, and potential sexual violence. To continue to build stronger programs we must take into account other important factors in young people lives, such as: sexuality, gender, race, and class, among others. By beginning to recognize these multiple aspects society may begin to see break downs in violence, stereotypes, and discrimination.


– Racheal

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6 thoughts on “Consent is Sexy – Consent is Mandatory

  1. Love her! Thanks for sharing.

  2. justjulia says:

    Good post! I agree that government-funded abstinence only programs need to be abolished.. it is a clear indicator to me of how intertwined religion and state are (especially in the US, but also here). I like what both Perry and Bussel say about exploring one’s sexuality, and how important an environment that fosters that kind of growth is to preventing sexual violence, disease, shame, etc.

    The biggest concept that stuck with me after reading these 2 articles is “education”. I believe that our society should look in to what France, Germany and the Netherlands have got going on, too. Incorporating sexuality education in to different school subjects and across all ages, and having educators that answer questions honestly and openly is so key, in my perspective. So many youth don’t have a safe place to talk about sexuality at home, so providing educators who educate based on research and science and not religion, personal belief/morals/etc would be a fundamental step. Sounds like they’ve got it more figured out than North America does!

  3. fembu14 says:

    I really like this post! Good job! I completely agree that sexual health promotion and sexual violence prevention must be taught together because they do go hand-in-hand.

    -Kristen C

  4. fembu14 says:

    When I was in school and was experiencing sexual education, the majority of the talks always ended with the discussion of abstinence and how important it was to think about and to perform. I think these types of talks are absolutely BS, and instead of teachers wasting time focusing on abstinence talks and all the reasons why we SHOULDN’T do it, they should talk about all of the good things that come out of having safe sex (pleasure) and give us tips on how to make sure we find it pleasurable. So much time is focused on all the bad things that come out of having sex and not enough time is focused on why sex is good. Hearing these statements and scare-tactics from teachers make teens feel uneasy about having sex and not prepared on how to experience pleasure, which is what it is all about!

    Michelle E.

  5. Shaylyn says:

    Sex education in general leaves a lot to be desired, but you’re right, education about consent and sexual violence as well as sex in general SHOULD be a priority. Most teachers settle for preventative tips as opposed to teaching people how to give and respect consent; that’s like teaching people the importance of constantly wearing bulletproof vests as opposed to teaching them not to shoot those around them. And like you said, it’s already been proved that abstinence-heavy education is unsuccessful. Why are politicians still wasting money on them?

  6. sydneycs6 says:

    This is awesome, I mean the picture at the end of the post really nails it. Honestly, I agree with Shay, why do the programs still focus on mainly abstinence? Sex is slapping kids in the face left, right, and center these days. I think the best way to gear the sex education for kids is to teach about sex (as simple as that sounds lol). The programs should teach kids about protection (I mean abstinence is great, but it just isn’t as realistic anymore) and teach kids about masturbation. Seriously, how many teenage pregnancies could have been avoided by a horny kid being told, “ya, just go do this, it’ll help those feelings go away and you won’t be a dad at 16”.

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