Multimedia Projects

Exploring Unwanted Consensual Sex: A Qualitative Pilot Study​

In this MMP, consenting to sex is a complicated psychological, political, and social issue. Because the legal system does not classify consensual sex as rape, there is a mistaken assumption that consent is an either/or issue. Current research has revealed that many women consent to have sex that they do not want which can have devastating long-term psychological and emotional consequences, such as anxiety, low self-esteem and lack of sexual interest, it can also chronically subvert the consenters experience of equality. Despite these research findings, there have been no studies that examine how women are educated and socialized about consent. Thus, the research question of this study was: how do women learn about consenting to sex? This research sought to begin to answer this question in order to provide social workers with guidance on how to help women unlearn these messages and avoid consenting to unwanted sex.