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What is considered consent has been a national topic of discussion since several high-profile members of the entertainment, political and news industries have been accused, charged or convicted of sexual misconduct ranging from groping to rape.

“Sexual consent is an agreement to participate in a sexual activity. Before being sexual with someone, you need to know if they want to be sexual with you too. It’s also important to be honest with your partner about what you want and don’t want,” according to

The sourced articles below provide a starting point on the subject of consent, the age of consent, when to teach consent and how to give consent in sexual situations.

  1. The Sex Recession: 5 Reasons Young People Are Having So Little Sex

    “I’d sought out Herbenick in part because I was intrigued by an article she’d written for The Washington Post proposing that the sex decline might have a silver lining. Herbenick had asked whether we might be seeing, among other things, a retreat from coercive or otherwise unwanted sex. Just a few decades ago, after all, marital rape was still legal in many states.”

    Kate Julian,, 1/25/2019

  2. What Consent Looks Like

    “When you’re engaging in sexual activity, consent is about communication. And it should happen every time. Giving consent for one activity, one time, does not mean giving consent for increased or recurring sexual contact. For example, agreeing to kiss someone doesn’t give that person permission to remove your clothes. Having sex with someone in the past doesn’t give that person permission to have sex with you again in the future.”

    Online Resource,, accessed on 5/12/2018

  3. What Is Consent?

    “Consent should not be assumed
    Each of us is responsible for making sure we have consent in every sexual situation. If you are unsure, it is important to clarify what your partner feels about the sexual situation before initiating or continuing the sexual activity.”

    Online Resource,, accessed on 5/12/2018

  4. “45 Stories Of Sex And Consent On Campus”

    “We wanted to explore that complexity when we asked college students for their stories of navigating this gray zone: what they anticipated, how they negotiated consent and processed the aftermath, and what advice they would give their younger selves. These are their stories.”

    Jessica Bennett and Daniel Jones,, 5/10/2018

  5. Ask Your Baby’s Permission Before Changing Diaper, Says Sexual Consent Expert

    “Deanne Carson, who works for an organization which teaches children about consent, appeared on Australia’s ABC news network to comment on Saxon Mullins, whose rape case sparked a national debate on sexual consent laws. Carson argued that parents should teach their children about consent as early as possible.”

    Kashmira Gander,, 5/10/2018

  6. Teaching Kids About Sexual Consent Is A Delicate Process

    “Planned Parenthood of NYC then asked the kids to help create their new public service announcement on consent and sexual agency. The teens who participated and produced the PSA depicted the various ways they might ask for consent. Showing a variety of approaches is effective because the main message isn’t, ‘Ask this way,’ it’s simply, ‘Ask.'”

    Savas Abadsidis,, 5/9/2018

  7. Everything You Want To Know About Consent But Were Afraid To Ask

    “But perhaps the important and troubling lesson from the trial is that our understanding and practice of consent is so unclear that it is possible for one person to leave a sexual encounter believing it was consensual, while another person can leave believing it was rape. This points to necessary cultural overhaul in how we think about consent.”

    Roe McDermott,, 4/7/2018

  8. Sexual Consent Is A Worldwide Conversation

    “The Ansari story captures the frequently messy reality of sexual encounters. The article was divisive because it delved into a gray area: The accuser said she used ‘verbal and nonverbal cues to indicate how uncomfortable and distressed she was,’ but to many who read the piece, the absence of a plainly stated ‘no’ meant consent was implied.”

    Lisa Rose,, 4/5/2018

  9. Why The Age Of Sexual Consent Continues To Be A Worldwide Challenge

    “The issue of consent is an emotive one that may never be fully resolved. But it is an important issue for people of all ages. France is having that debate once again. Perhaps it is time the UK joined in?”

    Michael Richards, Lecturer in Applied Health and Social Care, Edge Hill University,, 4/4/2018

  10. Primary School Pupils To Get Classes On Sexual Consent

    “Minister for Education Richard Bruton has asked policymakers to review the 20-year-old curriculum on relationships and sexuality education to ensure it meets the needs of young people in Ireland today. He has specifically asked the State’s advisory body on the curriculum to consider updating information on sexual consent at both primary and secondary level.”

    Carl O’Brien and Sarah Bardon,, 4/3/2018

  11. The Aziz Ansari Allegation Has People Talking About ‘Affirmative Consent.’ What’s That?

    “Affirmative consent stipulates that partners must explicitly agree to engage in sex, consent can be withdrawn at any time during an encounter and ‘silence or lack of resistance’ does not imply consent, according to SUNY’s definition, which is consistent with other definitions. It also says that a person cannot consent while intoxicated and that partners must consent every time a sexual encounter occurs, regardless of whether they’ve consented to a particular type of behavior in the past.”

    Samantha Cooney,, 1/17/2018

  12. When Saying ‘Yes’ Is Easier Than Saying ‘No’

    “Consider the drinking analogy: Most of us understand, or at least we should, that a blackout drunk person cannot consent to sex. On some campuses, that inability to consent applies even if someone has had just a sip or two. But what about a woman who doesn’t feel that she can speak up because of cultural expectations? Should that woman be considered unable to consent, too?”

    Jessica Bennett,, 12/16/2017

  13. Legal Age Of Consent In All 50 States

    “This information was taken from Dunham & Jones. We plan to review this post every six months in order to keep it up-to-date but if you notice an error/change please let us know so that we can be as accurate as possible.”

    Asehli Howe,, 11/8/2017

  14. The Uncomfortable Truth About Campus Rape Policy

    “At many schools, the rules intended to protect victims of sexual assault mean students have lost their right to due process—and an accusation of wrongdoing can derail a person’s entire college education.”

    Emily Yoffe,, 9/6/2017