This novel paper critically addresses a currently popular sex education resource which compares sexual consent to tea drinking. Drawing from a study which considered the meaning of consent through focus groups and interviews with young people and professionals, we argue that the central ‘risk avoidance’ message of such resources individualises the potential risks of non-consensual sex and ignores the gendered social structures which shape interpersonal relationships. We suggest that simplifying and extrapolating sexual consent from broader cultural understandings is problematic. Conversations with young people are important, but they need to address the complexity of sexual consent, coercion and gendered sexual norms.
Bibliographical noteThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Brady, G. and Lowe, P. (2019), ‘Go on, Go on, Go on’: Sexual Consent, Child Sexual Exploitation and Cups of Tea. Child Soc., which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/chso.12358. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
- child sexual exploitation
- gendered power
- sexual consent
- young women