Teen Vogue Highlights Research by CHW Visiting Scholar Jennifer S. Hirsch
From the article:
For some college students, consent means a "You up?" text. For others, it means being in someone's dorm room late at night because "if it's 1:00 a.m. ...and you invite someone to your room, there is like this like non-verbal agreement." For some students, not saying no is an indicator of consent, and for others, consent is only present when you explicitly say yes. What's more, consent for some students is a bargaining chip. "I'll give you a blow job so I can...get out of here," one student recounted to researchers about oral sex she agreed to perform despite not really wanting to. If one thing about consent is clear from new research out of Columbia University, it's that many college students don't consider consent to be strictly verbal — and that may be costly.
In a newly published study in The Journal of Adolescent Health, researchers from Columbia University explored the difference between how many straight, cisgender students are taught to give and get consent through a college-mandated "Yes Means Yes" training course in their freshman year, and how they actually employ consent during sexual encounters. Through more than 150 interviews with undergraduate students over the course of 16 months, which included participant observations and focus groups, researchers revealed a social gray area — one in which young people are having consensual sex, but don't necessarily practice it in the way they were taught in that one freshman class. That may be because, researchers Jennifer Hirsch and Claude Mellins tell Teen Vogue, young people need much more than just a one-off course to educate them about sex and consent.