Online Program

A Summative Evaluation of Consent is Sexy: A Campus Intervention to Promote Interpersonal Dialogue about Sex

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Shelly Hovick, PhD, School of Communication, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Nathan Silver, School of Communication, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Michelle Bangen, The Office of Student Life, Student Wellness Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 1 in 5 women are raped in their lifetime while 44.6% of women experience some other form of violence; thus, sexual violence is a significant public health problem. Campus sexual assault, in particular, has been the focus of recent campaigns including efforts by the White House to protect students. We evaluated Ohio State University’s use of the Consent is Sexy Campaign.  Using primarily print media, the campaign used innovative and edgy messages and images to increase interpersonal dialogue about sex and decrease rape myth acceptance. Undergraduate students (N=285), the target audience for the campaign, were recruited to complete an online survey. The majority of students surveyed (64%) remembered seeing posters on the topic of consent; Of those, 79% had heard the phrase “consent is sexy” and 42% recognized the campaign logo. Recognition was higher for some posters than others; recall was highest for a poster featuring a heterosexual couple with the tagline “being asked what I like or want to do sexually is hot!” The majority students who saw the posters agreed they were visually interesting (54%) and held their attention well (53%), but only 40% agreed that the posters were relevant. Only 6% of students agreed that the messages were too provocative and 82% disagreed that the ads were difficult to understand. Our results suggest provocative content may increase attention paid to sexual communication campaigns, though future iterations should focus on increasing perceived relevance.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe student reactions to a campus campaign to increase interpersonal dialogue about sex to help reduce sexual vioelnce.

Keyword(s): Sexual Assault, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My resesarch focuses on health and risk communication, particularly the evaluation of health campaigns.
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.