Can Consent Training End Sexual Violence On Campus?: Students, Consent and Sexual Ethics

Tanya Serisier

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The ongoing, potentially worsening problem of sexual violence and harassment on university campuses has emerged in the last few years as an area of concern. Female students have been identified as one of the most likely groups to experience sexual violence and this violence is exacerbated by contemporary student cultures around alcohol consumption and gendered and sexual norms. University campuses have also become central to prevention efforts in many countries due to their relatively accessible populations and an ability to implement social policies at an institutional level.
Many of these measures are based around promoting or educating students about sexual consent, and particularly notions of affirmative consent, expressed as ‘Yes means Yes’. However, there exists little research around sexual ethics with students exploring whether consent is in fact the best way to tackle cultural problems of sexual violence on campus. This paper makes use of existing literature on sexual ethics and focus group research undertaken with Australian university students to argue for an approach to the problem of sexual ethics on campus that is broader than simply focusing on training programs in sexual consent. It identifies a number of limitations to the consent framework and argues that prevention efforts need to more seriously engage with broader cultural norms around heterosexuality and gendered relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015
EventBritish Sociological Association - Glasgow Caledonia University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Apr 201517 Apr 2015


ConferenceBritish Sociological Association
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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