Sarah Casper, Founder of Comprehensive Consent, enters a conversation on implicit and explicit consent, her social emotional approach towards consent education and safeguarding bodily autonomy.
Here we clarified key terms and definitions to understand the topic better.
“Assent is an agreement given by a child / young person or others who are not legally empowered to give consent. It is important to provide children / young people with information that matches their capacity when seeking assent.”
“ Teaching young people to acknowledge and respect other people’s personal boundaries can help create a society where no one feels ashamed to willingly engage in or reject sexual activity.”
“ Sexual autonomy is conceptualized as a human right to protect and maintain an informed decision over one’s body, one’s sexuality, and one’s sexual experience.”
“ It is an illegal sexual contact that usually involves force upon a person without consent or is inflicted upon a person who is incapable of giving consent (as because of age or physical or mental incapacity) or who places the assailant (such as a doctor) in a position of trust or authority.”
Here are facts and figures on the topic.
According to a survey conducted by Planned Parenthood, USA, most parents do not talk about issues of consent and sexual assault with their children.
Parents talk with their daughters more about consent than with their sons. Parents tend to talk more about healthy and unhealthy relationships (40%) and less about how to seek consent in a relationship (14%).
In the UK, adolescents aged 11 to 13 find intimate activities like holding hands, kissing and sexual touching normal for their ages, despite it being difficult for them to apply their understanding of consent and sexual coercion.
Here are a few quick facts and some easy to understand information on this topic. Feel free to post to your social media accounts to get your friends involved.
Check out the following resources to learn more about the Istanbul Convention, sexual violence, consent and coercion.
Insecure Otis has all the answers when it comes to sex advice, thanks to his therapist mom. So rebel Maeve proposes a school sex-therapy clinic.
This article presents a case study of an award-nominated, annual ‘Consent’ week
of action involving inter-disciplinary,
cross-campus, curricula-embedded workshops and events.
Sarah is a Consent Educator focusing on Social-Emotional Consent Education for Kids and Teens. She uses simple tools such as videos, infographics, and real-life examples to unpack situations from the point of view of consent.
This podcast provides intersectional, consent-based, shame-free sexuality education to all people of all ages.
Power Up, Speak Out! is a five-lesson toolkit for educators that encourages middle school students to think critically about healthy relationships, power dynamics, boundaries, and consent. Our lessons teach students what TO DO, instead of what NOT to do.
These are concrete explanations and examples of what consensual and non-consensual interactions can look like.
Education and consent are topics that are often misunderstood because of the myths surrounding them, here we want to clean up some of the most prominent misconceptions.
Practising consent skills with your child shows them that you care about their social emotional wellness and you’re invested in developing their skills for independence and healthy relationships. Spending time with your child in open, vulnerable, and empowering discussions can increase the trust and respect between you. (Comprehensive Consent)
Having power over our children’s decisions does not mean not consulting them while making decisions. It is good to involve children in the decision-making process especially when the decision involves their body and personal space. Every child has a unique way of expressing their needs, so it is always better to reduce power struggle and start discussing what is necessary and essential for bodily autonomy, consent and more. (Comprehensive Consent)
People need to practice consent daily to be aware as givers and receivers. The best of practice is through education. First, we need to learn what the concept is and how it can be practised, then we can apply it to our lives. As Sarah Casper states “Comprehensive Consent means your child knows what consent is, understands why practising consent matters; has the skills to practice consent in the moment”. (Comprehensive Consent)
Ettie Bailey-King of the U.K.-based Schools Consent Project explains: “Talking about consent doesn’t make kids any more likely to have sex or be abused, just like tetanus shots don’t encourage people to play with rusty nails”. In reality, Bailey-King adds, research shows that robust sex education actually makes students more likely to delay sexual activity. And a 2012 study by the Guttmacher Institute found that teens who received formal sex education prior to their first sexual experience demonstrated healthier behaviours than those who received no sex education.” (ascd)
Check out these guidelines that help you to have conversations on consent.
Advice: Advocate for consent education to be part of any SexEd course and start conversations with friends and family about the importance of consent using our resources.
Advice: At early ages, we tend to force our kids to hug relatives or we try to bring them to a place where they don’t feel comfortable. For example, if your daughter or son decides not to hug someone you like, explain to the other person that it is quite normal because it is what your child wants, and that we have to respect their decision because they are never too young to know what they are comfortable with or not.
Advice: People tend to focus on sex education rather than the actual term of consent. Sex is neither the first place nor the only place to educate people on consent. Everyone but especially kids need to build healthy, informative and responsible relationships.
Here we highlight prominent cases.
Spears was a child grappling with her identity, relationships, and mental health In a patriarchal and oppressive economic system. She was put under conservatorship when she was 18 and since then, she has had no consent on her decisions even on bodily autonomy. This case has immediate relevance for creating boundaries and obtaining consent education.
Britney Spears’ case started a movement called #freebritney. This case is important to show consent education is as important as consent education. Her story shows how consent can appear in different areas like social life, personal life or bodily autonomy. She was deliberately prevented from having kids, she was forced to dance or seem happy on social media and she was forced to do so many other things by claiming she is the bad guy. Especially her relations with her father show that consent education is needed for kids, parents and teachers, in short for everyone around the world.
Very few countries or states make consent education (or even sex education) mandatory.
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