Online Program

Influence of consent on college students' perceptions of the quality of sexual intercourse

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 11:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Kristen Jozkowski, PhD, Public Health, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Background: A major hallmark of sexual assault prevention education is consent promotion. As such, sexual consent has been examined almost exclusively in the context of sexual assault. However, alternative initiatives for prevention education which promote proactive and enthusiastic consent may be beneficial to decrease rates of sexual assault and work toward enhancing individuals' sexual experiences. The current study examined consent outside of a sexual assault framework by assessing consent's relation to individuals' perception of the quality of sexual intercourse while controlling for alcohol consumption, relationship status, age, and gender.

Methods: College students (n=640) were recruited to participate in a survey assessing their most recent engagement in sexual intercourse. Hierarchical regression was conducted: alcohol consumption, relationship status, and age were entered in step 1; the Internal and External Consent Scale factors were entered in step 2. Two separate models were run for women and men.

Results: For women, three factors (Comfort/Safety; Agreement/Wantedness; Physical Response) on the Internal Consent Scale explained a significant proportion of variance in quality of intercourse beyond variables in step 1 (DR2=.17, p < .001). For men, the Comfort/Safety and Agreement/Wantedness factors on the Internal Consent Scale and Direct Nonverbal Cues factor on the External Consent Scale significantly predicted quality of sexual intercourse beyond step 1 (DR2=.23, p<.001).

Implications: Preliminary findings suggest that consent influences quality of sexual intercourse. Such findings could be utilized to develop more affirmative models of sexual violence prevention that highlight the need for consensual, pleasurable sexual encounters for individuals of all genders.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationship between internal and external consent and individuals’ quality of sexual intercourse Articulate how the relationship between consent and quality of sexual intercourse could be utilized to promote a more affirmative model of sexual violence prevention for college students

Keyword(s): Sexuality, Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in Health Behavior and Masters degree in Health Promotion from Indiana University. I am currently an Assistant Professor in Community Health Promotion at University of Arkansas. Published multiple articles and presented numerous times on the topic of women’s sexual health. Research interests include study of sexuality with an emphasis on promoting positive sexuality and healthy sexual encounters for all.
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.