265479 Promoting positive sexual culture through gender-sensitive conceptualizations of consent

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Kristen Jozkowski, PhD , Community Health Promotion, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Sonya Satinsky, PhD, MPH , Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Sexual assault continues to be a pervasive problem in the US and constitutes an important public health issue via its inextricable link to negative sexual and other health outcomes. Despite decades of prevention education, rates of sexual assault have yet to decline. As a mechanism to address high rates of sexual assault, many colleges and universities have implemented educational initiatives aimed at preventing or reducing rates of sexual assault. However, most of these initiatives tend to highlight techniques aimed at limiting women's sexual autonomy as a means of reducing rates of sexual assault. In contrast, college men have been encouraged and taught through explicit and implicit messages and via gender role socialization that in order to achieve a sexual conquest they need to act as the sexual initiator, dictate possible variables surrounding the sexual interaction and obtain sexual intercourse at all costs. Instead, alternative initiatives for sexual assault prevention education which include promoting proactive and enthusiastic consent for women and men may be beneficial not only to decrease rates of sexual assault, but to work toward enhancing individuals' sexual experiences. This presentation will highlight male models of sexuality that may rationalize violence and coercion against women, and discuss how such models are not only ineffective but also limiting for men. We will also theorize how sexual assault prevention initiatives could be improved through the conceptualization of more affirmative models of sexual violence prevention that highlight the need for consensual, pleasurable sexual encounters for individuals of all genders.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify aspects of contemporary sexual assault prevention education initiatives which focus on limiting the sexual expression of women and men. 2. Describe possible avenues of sexual assault prevention education which promote proactive consent. 3. Describe how sex-positive sexual assault prevention initiatives may relate not only to reducing rates of sexual assault but to enhancing individuals’ overall sexual experiences.

Keywords: Sexual Assault, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in Health Behavior and extensive experience in sexual health promotion.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.