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Complexities of sexual consent: young people's reasoning in a Swedish context
Malmö University, Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies (CSS). Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).
Malmö University, Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies (CSS). Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4663-4004
Malmö University, Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies (CSS). Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2255-6547
2020 (English)In: Psychology & Sexuality, ISSN 1941-9899, E-ISSN 1941-9902, Vol. 11, no 4, p. 342-357Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although previous research and public debate argue that partnered sexual activity is construed in terms of being consensual or not, we know little about young people’s own reasoning on sexual consent. This study aimed to investigate how sexual consent and sexual negotiations are interpreted by young people in Sweden. Forty-four female and male participants, ranging from 18–21 years old, took part in 12 focus groups, organised according to a set of vignettes. All focus groups were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. The findings illustrate the complexity of the interpretation of sexual consent. There was a clear perception among the participants that sex between two individuals is a mutual process, and that sex should be consensual, expressed either through words, body language, or both. They all stated clearly that a ‘No’ has to be respected, independently of context. However, at the same time participants expressed contradictory norms and expectations in relation to the described situations, that showed an ambivalence concerning sexual scripts and consequences of challenging these in specific situations. Reasoning concerning discrepancy between ideals and actual possibilities to act in sexual encounters indicates differences in relation to gender, age and educational background and pathways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2020. Vol. 11, no 4, p. 342-357
Keywords [en]
Focus group, gender norms, sexual negotiations, sexual consent, sexuality norms, young people
National Category
Law and Society
Research subject
Health and society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-17366DOI: 10.1080/19419899.2020.1769163ISI: 000539112700001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85085610112OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-17366DiVA, id: diva2:1438574
Part of project
Blurred situations; young people’s reasoning on conflictual sexual boundaries, Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2015-00278Available from: 2020-06-10 Created: 2020-06-10 Last updated: 2023-11-02Bibliographically approved

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Holmström, CharlottaPlantin, LarsElmerstig, Eva

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