Little is known about young people's perceptions of and attitudes toward the coverage of sexual consent or their perceptions of the extent to which they have learned about sexual consent from various sources. Participants were undergraduate men (n = 73) and women (n = 128) between the ages of 18 and 29 (M = 19.62, SD = 1.75) who completed a survey assessing perceived coverage of sexual consent in school and by parents, attitudes toward university and media coverage of sexual consent, and the amount they perceived they had learned about sexual consent from five sources (mothers, fathers, friends, school-based sexual health education, the Internet). On average, participants reported poor coverage of sexual consent. Participants more strongly agreed that there was extensive coverage and that they had learned a lot from coverage in the media than at university but did not strongly endorse either source. Participants thought they learned significantly more from the media and Internet and peers than from school and parents. Participants who received limited sexual consent education at school/home responded to an open-ended question regarding the perceived impact of limited education from this source. Although some participants reported no impact, others attributed negative experiences to their limited sexual consent education including experiencing non-consensual sexual activities and detrimental effects on their romantic relationships. The results point to the need for parents and schools to do more to educate youth about sexual consent and indicate that young adults are receptive to sexual consent education at university and in the media.


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pp. 154-166
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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