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Consent: What is it?

A presentation on consent, coercion, sexual assault, and the relationship between the three. Brought to Otterbein's One Billion Rising by VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood at Otterbein University.
by

Katy Major

on 13 February 2013

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Transcript of Consent: What is it?

Consent: What is it? Brought to you by VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood at Otterbein University Consent (n.): A voluntary, sober, enthusiastic, wanted, informed, mutual, honest, and verbal agreement given.

There is equal power and no pressure between partners. It is an active agreement -- it is not coerced.

It is not implied. Never assumed. Even in the context of a relationship. What are circumstances in which consent cannot be given? Circumstances in which a person cannot BY LAW provide consent, no matter what s/he might verbalize:

The person is severely intoxicated or unconscious as a result of alcohol or drugs.
The person is physically or mentally disabled.
The person is beneath the legal age of consent (age 16 in Ohio) and is having sexual relations with someone above the age of 18. Consent is never implied or assumed. If sexual behavior--even a similar or the same kind--has happened previously, even if it was earlier that day, or every day for the past six months. Consent is given for each and every separate sexual act.
If the two people are in a long-term relationship, broken relationship, or marriage. This includes... "She didn't say no." "We started kissing, so I thought s/he wanted to keep going." How do you know if the person you're with has given their consent? JUST ASK! "Is there anything you don't want to do?"

"Are you comfortable?"

"Do you want to stop?"

Do you want to go further?" Recognize non-verbal cues... Not responding to your touch Pushing you away Holding their arms tightly around their bodies Turning away from you or hiding their face Stiffening muscles If you're getting a negative or non-committal response, "I don't want to do anything more than kissing, hugging, touching."

"Can we stay like this for a while?"

"Can we slow down?" "No."

"I want to stop."

"I need to go to the bathroom." SLOW THINGS DOWN. STOP. What is coercion? Manipulation.

Used when the other person knows that the answer is "no."

Consists of an imbalance of power and control.

Negates consent. Consists of: Flattery
Intimidation
Guilt trips
Intimidation
Threats ...all for the purpose of manipulating someone's decisions. Antioch College
Yellow Springs, Ohio slow down or stop. To sum things up... Carleton University: "Consent: Have the Conversation." Yes Means Yes! Remember that women and men are both active sexual agents! In our society, we view heterosexual relations in a specific way: Men "get some" and women "give it up."
This model does not acknowledge women as equal and active sexual agents, or that women have desires, which are equally as important.
There is nothing shameful or wrong about women wanting to initiate or pursue sexual activity and enjoy it as much as possible.
Of course, this is also important in queer relationships. Each partner's view on what they want and what feels good is equally as important.
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