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Sexual precedent’s effect on sexual consent communication

Sexual precedent’s effect on sexual consent communication

Willis, Malachi ORCID: 0000-0002-3173-3990 and Jozkowski, Kristen N. (2019) Sexual precedent’s effect on sexual consent communication. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48 (6). pp. 1723-1734. ISSN 0004-0002 (Print), 1573-2800 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-018-1348-7)

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Abstract

Sexual consent is one’s voluntary, sober, and conscious willingness to engage in a particular sexual behavior with a particular person within a particular context. Sexual precedent theory posits that people believe that engaging in consensual sex at one point in time implies consent to later sexual encounters with that person. By assuming consent once a sexual precedent is set, people may rely less on communication cues. We sought to provide quantitative support for the claim that sexual precedent influences sexual consent in people’s sexual relationships. To capture variability across sexual experiences, we collected daily sexual behavior data from each participant (n = 84) over a period of 30 days. We found a curvilinear relationship between sexual history with a partner and how people perceived consent during sexual activity with that partner (p = .003, ∆R2 = .089). A piecewise regression revealed that participants were less likely to report consent communication cues as sexual precedent increased until about 575 previous sexual behaviors (p = .003, R2 = .122); after this point, participants were more likely to report consent communication cues as sexual precedent increased (p = .028, R2 = .179). Overall, we provide the first quantitative evidence that consent conceptualization varies both within the person and across relationships regarding sexual precedent. In our discussion, we emphasize that sexual consent is contextual and cannot be assumed even after previous sexual encounters.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sexual consent, sexual precedent, communication
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Inequalities
Last Modified: 01 May 2020 10:39
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 2
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/27373

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