‘It’s a much bigger deal than people think’: UK undergraduate University students’ discussions around sexual consent

Abbott, Keeley and Earnshaw, Deborah and Eadon, Sophie and Hanlon, Olivia (2024) ‘It’s a much bigger deal than people think’: UK undergraduate University students’ discussions around sexual consent. International Journal of Educational Research, 127. ISSN 0883-0355

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Sexual abuse, harassment and assault are increasing in educational institutions. Education focuses on improving understanding of consent: research highlights nuances and constraints by gendered and heteronormative norms for young people. Findings explore how undergraduate university students conceptualise consent in relation to the wider contextual factors that impact sex and consent. Students (aged 18-24 years) at a West Midlands (UK) university in focus groups conceptualised consent in relation to sexual assault, legal consequences of assault and ways that emphasised victimisation, inequities, double standards, and power differentials that largely impact men. Gendered and heteronormative norms shape students’ understanding of consent and impact consent discussions. The findings have implications for secondary school Relationship and Sex Education and consent campaigns aimed at university students.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2024.102392
29 May 2024Accepted
15 June 2024Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sexual consent, university students, gendered norms, power relations, heteronormative discourses.
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-02 - applied psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > College of Psychology
Depositing User: Keeley (staff) Abbott
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2024 13:59
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2024 13:59
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15580

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