Getting ‘Consent’ for Sex Is Too Low a Bar


 by Brittany Shelton
When adults talk to young people about sex, the standard speech includes the warning that they must obtain consent before stepping up intimacy to the next level. Here’s the problem: guidance that centers on the term “consent” suggests that a legal standard for permissible sexual interactions is also a decent or desirable one.

When adults talk about sex with young people, regular rhetoric includes warning that they must get "agree" before entering the next intimate relationship. The problem is here: the emphasis on “consent” means that the legal standard of sexual interaction that can be allowed is also a decent or satisfactory standard.

But it is not the case.

As long as there is too much discussion about “consent”, and there is no place for discussion of basic interpersonal sensibility, we should not be surprised by reports that young men are entangled in young women for sexual gains (this type of thing is usually male Female, not the other way around). It may be legal to persevere to conquer someone, but doing so is not the basis of a healthy relationship between two people, whether it is between the same sex or the opposite sex.

According to 22-year-old Emily Lauster, “You can always hear that the girl is not very interested, or tell the boy that she is tired, but the boy does not give her a space story. Maybe he Will continue to try to start physical contact, or spend a few minutes to say something else, and then mention this." Lauster recently graduated from George Washington University and is currently working on adolescent mental health.

Moreover, as long as we just "accept" as a standard acceptable for sexual contact and normalize it, then for young women (and sometimes men), it is inevitable that they will theoretically agree. "But it is often a stressful sexual activity, and my heart feels confused and regretful."

Joe Berusch, 19, from Shakhans, Ohio, is a sophomore at the University of Chicago. He said he was discussing a recent article in the New York Times with friends. When he was on campus sex and “agree”, he was surprised to learn that several of his female friends “had experienced repeated requests”. He also said that he did not want to think that women sometimes "will give in, because it will make things simple. But I know that this kind of thing does happen."

Sexual relationships should be enjoyable and mutually acceptable, and should move forward with the ardent and happy consent of both parties, not just because one of them gives permission to the other. We too often recommend that young people train themselves to focus on “agree”, which is only the minimum standard for legal sexual activity. On a regular basis, we will clearly state what constitutes, what does not constitute acquiescence, but does not say much, or does not talk about obedience to the partner's desires. To discuss this repeatedly, basically the content of our communication is, "In terms of sexual life, don't invade or rape anyone."

Donnovan Somera Yisrael, an emotional and sexual health educator at Stanford University, suggests that we should expand our discussion of "agree" and "how to perceive your partner's desires." The issue of "confirming it with consent" is included.

If we leave the word "agree" in a more appropriate place, such as in court or when taking medical procedures? Moreover, if consent is given, we recommend that young people see if their sexual partners have given full enthusiasm for consent. We can also add, “I understand that healthy sex will include some uncertainty. It’s okay to feel uneasy, but it’s okay. But if you, or your partner, feel uneasy, you’re not willing. ”

When it comes to drinking, even the enthusiastic consent may be too low for “agree”, but it is still an improvement for our current standards.

We can continue to put "agree" as a question, but we can not imply that normal romantic behavior often involves situations where "agree" is not clearly defined. Instead, we can say, “If you are not sure if you are licensed in the bedroom, you may or may not have legal concerns. You must have concerns. If your partner just says 'OK... well ', you should not continue to do what you suggest."

“An effective lesson about consent,” said Nicole Cushman, director-general of the “Answer” agency that promotes adolescent sex education in the United States. “It’s not just about providing legal definitions and scripts to young people.” According to Cushman's experience, the professor “agree” should involve “communication skills, decision-making and respect for personal boundaries”.

We are surprisingly reassured by the term “agree”, which stems from our reluctance to admit that women also have sexual desire. Only by neglecting women's desires can we agree with the tricky premise that in the interaction between the opposite sex, men are offensive characters and women are defensive roles.

“You can agree to have sex, but is this what we should expect from sexual experience?” asked Anna Rosenfeld, 23, who recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and was planning The Planned Parenthood is a peer educator. “As women, we should be taught to look forward to happiness and rewards – something higher than what we must teach us now.”

In order to remind young people that sex is a kind of enjoyment shared by both parties, we can say something to our children: “Know what you want and understand what your partner wants. When the two agendas have an intersection, Have a good sex."

Of course, as parents, we are often reluctant to talk to our children about their upcoming sex life. Or, we only remind them of the possible negative effects of sexual behavior, and forget to let them know that sex may also bring intimacy and happiness.

“Hooking up the culture strengthens the lack of respect,” says Lauster. "It means that you don't have to think about each other from the perspective of a relationship - you don't have to respect the object you hooked up. And I think it's two-way - girls don't necessarily respect the men who hook them up."

Considering that most young people value their friendships, adults who give advice can say this: "Love is like friendship, you should be kind, caring, and expect the same return."

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