Sexual Consent Communication among Sexual and Gender Minority College Students

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5 Scopus citations


Sexual scripts and consent communication methods are seldom explored outside of heterosexual, cisgender relationships. To date, little research has been conducted to determine how sexual and gender minority (SGM) students conceptualize and communicate consent. This study explored SGM undergraduate students’ (n = 81) sexual consent communication scripts using open-ended survey items. We conducted a thematic freelisting analysis to assess the domains of consent and non-consent scripts using Smith’s Salience Score (S). Salient indicators of consent were verbal communication (S = .31; 38%); however, more specific forms of verbal communication were listed as a spectrum, including: asking (a request, S = .16; 23%), saying (a statement, S = .16; 20%), and telling (a command, S = .10; 13%). The most salient indicators of verbal non-consent were on a similar spectrum: saying no (S = .42; 9%), verbal communication broadly (S = .23; 27%), and telling no (S = .06; 7%). Salient physical indicators of both consent and non-consent also followed a spectrum in their descriptions. Future research among SGM college students should explore the meanings, patterns, and differences in consent communication and sexual scripts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-468
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


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