From ‘no means no’ to ‘an enthusiastic yes’: changing the discourse on sexual consent through sex and relationships education

Coy, Maddy, Kelly, Liz, Vera-Gray, Fiona, Garner, Maria and Kanyeredzi, Ava (2015) From ‘no means no’ to ‘an enthusiastic yes’: changing the discourse on sexual consent through sex and relationships education. In: Global Perspectives and Key Debates in Sex and Relationships Education: Addressing Issues of Gender, Sexuality, Plurality and Power. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 84-99. ISBN 9781137500229

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Abstract / Description

How sexual consent should be discussed with young people is the subject of current policy debates and contestations in the UK. While the current Westminster government violence against women and girls (VAWG) strategy (Home Office, 2011) and subsequent action plans recognise the importance of addressing consent, with no statutory relationships and sex education there are few contexts in which these conversations with young people routinely take place. Organisations that work with young people as victims/survivors of violence and through school-based primary prevention programmes have long identified sexual consent as an issue which requires specialist attention and intervention.

In this chapter, we present findings from research with young people in England about their understandings of sexual consent. The study was carried out on behalf of the Office of the Children's Commissioner as part of their two-year inquiry into sexual exploitation in the context of gangs and groups. Our brief was to explore, not just how young people understood sexual consent, but the influences and contexts in which they negotiated it. Here, we also highlight two aspects of our wider discussions with participants - pornography and 'man points' - as significant contextual backdrops of young people's views. We conclude with the implications of sex and relationships education (SRE), including a brief overview of how young people we talked with reflected on school-based sex education.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: young people, sex and relationships education (SRE), sexual consent
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
300 Social sciences > 370 Education
Department: School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Madeleine Coy
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2016 10:19
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2020 12:19

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