UK University Students' Perceptions and Negotiations of Sexual Consent

Liam Wignall, Jade Stirling, Ryan Scoats

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There is a growing recognition of the importance of trying to understand how sexual consent is understood and negotiated, yet research in this area is still developing. In particular, there is a need to better understand how young adults, a group significantly more likely to be victims of sexual assault, negotiate sexual consent across a range of cultural settings. Utilising semi-structured interviews, this research explores 20 British University students' perspectives and behaviours regarding sexual consent. Through thematic analysis, three key themes were identified: consent is often assumed in sexual settings; consent is understood to be important, but often taboo to discuss; and consent can be negotiated in complex ways. These findings highlight the importance of understanding the realities of how consent is being enacted and understood and have implications for campaigns which aim to reduce instances of sexual assault on campus.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)474-486
    Number of pages13
    JournalPsychology & Sexuality
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 11 Dec 2020


    • Casual Sex
    • Consent
    • Hook-ups
    • Sexual Assault
    • Sexual Consent


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