When discussing preventive measures against sexual assault, the number one topic that should be addressed is consent, and what consent means. But a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that not everyone is clear on what consent looks like; college students, who have been taught the “yes means yes” standard of consent still seem to be split on the topic, with 40 percent saying that different scenarios like nodding, getting a condom, or undressing constituted consent, while 40 percent said these situations did not. In light of these results, it's clear that there is still more to be discussed when it comes to healthy, and respectful sexual relationships both partners are comfortable with.
Planned Parenthood, the single largest organization for sexual education in the United States has released a set of videos to discuss what consent looks like in all its forms, and how you can be sure your partner has given it. The four videos are aimed at adolescents between the ages of 17 and 22, to explain what the model of consent means in different situations and relationships. The videos address both verbal, and non-verbal cues, in conjunction with personal, online chat services to help anyone who has further questions on the topic.
“To address sexual assault in this country and move us toward a healthy culture of consent, young people must understand consent and have the skills to engage in healthy communication around sex and relationships,” Dr. Leslie Kantor, vice president of education at Planned Parenthood Federation of America said. “Open, honest communication between partners is necessary to ensure that sex is safe and mutually consensual, which is a skill that can be learned. Education about consent is sexual assault prevention.”
1. How Do You Know If Someone Wants To Have Sex With You?
The first video gives a basic run down on what consent means, and how it can be given through verbal cues, and body language. It discusses how pressure, and coercion cannot constitute consent, nor can a party in an altered state of mind give consent. Instead, consent is a combination of words and physical receptiveness to the situation. When both parties feel comfortable with what is happening, and are willing to have an open dialogue about what they want from the situation, then you are in the context of a consensual situation.
2. When You Know They're Into It
The second video gives a picture of what full consent looks like. The couples portrayed not only give verbal cues that they both want what is about to happen, but they also show through physical signals that they want to continue on. Both are important for initial consent, and continued consent throughout sex.
3. When They're Kinda Into It
Sex often comes with a gray area, and this video talks about that in more detail. Communication is once again said to be key, but sometimes one partner may not be comfortable discussing how they're feeling. That's when you have to look more at body language. Even if someone is completely into you, it's still completely necessary to talk through what both of you want in the moment.
4. When They're Just Not Into Into It
Rejection sucks, and we've all been there. But when it comes to sexual situations, rejection needs to be handled with respect for your partner, and what they want. It's important that once someone says no, you accept it and stop asking or trying to make the other person feel bad for it. Any further added pressure means that person truly hasn't given their consent.
To learn more, you can contact Planned Parenthood by visiting their site.
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Image: Planned Parenthood/YouTube