The Range of Sexual Consent

No Consent
Sexual Assault or
Rape

Sexual Assault:  sexual contact or behavior without explicit consent.

Rape is penetration of any body part without consent. Rape is a crime and is punishable by law

Unwanted Consent

Sex Without Desire 

Unwanted sexual consent is the grey area of consent. It is agreed upon, but not desired. It can feel like assault but is not recognized by society or punishable by law. 

Consent is an agreement between two parties to engage in sexual activity. It is actively agreed upon, freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic, and specific. 

Wanted Consent
True Consensual Sex
the consent spectrum.png

 The problem with the current education about consent is that it ignores the complex pressures that drive women to act against their own interests. 4 Because women are socialized to be accommodating, they may not even be aware that they are doing something that compromises their well-being. True consent requires a clear understanding of the relational context as well as the social and emotional freedom to say no. 

Knowledge
True Consent
Freedom

What is Unwanted Consent?

Unwanted sexual consent ranges from smiling at a catcall to giving in to a sexual assault.  Women and girls learn to accept unwanted sexual attention with an uncomfortable smile or a giggle. They understand that sometimes giving in and going along is what girls have to do to keep the peace, get ahead, or stay safe.  They write it off as "not that bad" and learn to keep it to themselves. 

Girls tolerate and normalize a range of sexual offenses:

Scenario 1:  Unwanted sexual attention like catcalls 
Scenario 2: Unwanted and devaluing sexual comments 
Scenario 3: Unwanted sex to keep boys happy
Scenario 4: Blaming themselves for being raped
 
Lucia Evans Talks to Ronan Farrow Interview
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