How to teach consent


As the idea of affirmative consent gains in popularity, there are still many people who stubbornly refuse to recognize the importance of changing the way we teach people about sex. Many of these are the same people who want to focus on telling women to stop drinking and wear different clothes to protect themselves from sexual assault, rather than focusing on the perpetrators of the crime and fighting back against rape culture. 

A major problem is the inability for people to wrap their heads around what enthusiastic consent actually means in practice. They imagine some elaborate contract signing ceremony that completely kills the vibe, or conjure some dystopia that turns every many into a rapist. Planned Parenthood has done everyone a big favor by putting out a series of videos that show how consent can be simple and sexy.

It’s hard to imagine how anyone could watch this series of videos and not walk away with a clearer idea of how to apply these concepts in real life. Most of us never heard anything like this when our teachers or parents were giving us basic sex ed (if we were lucky enough to get even that). But we have an opportunity to bring up new generations who fully embrace enthusiastic consent as part of sexuality. We can teach this like we teach anything else, if we commit to becoming comfortable with it ourselves. Planned Parenthood has done a service by making it easy and accessible. Watch the rest of the videos here, and share them with someone else who could benefit from this message.


Author: Rebecca Griffin

I am a passionate advocate for progressive causes with over a decade of experience organizing for social change. That organizing experience informs the way I look at the world and the challenges we face in working toward social justice. I started Of Means and Ends to write about social issues I care about and share my thoughts on how we organize in a smart, strategic way. Please visit and join the conversation.

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