The presence or absence of sexual consent is what distinguishes sex from sexual assault, and sexual consent education is often a key component of sexual assault prevention programming. Yet, definitions of sexual consent are inconsistent and often vague, and communicating and interpreting sexual consent or nonconsent in sexual encounters is often a nuanced process.
Research on understanding how individuals conceptualize, communicate, and interpret sexual consent contributes to more effective sexual consent education, which in turn, helps to reduce rates of sexual assault. Kinsey Institute researchers are leaders in this area of sexual consent research.
Artime, T. M., & Peterson, Z. D. (2015). Feelings of wantedness and consent during nonconsensual sex: Implications for posttraumatic cognitions. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 7(6), 570-577. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000047
Javidi, H., Maheux, A. J., Widman, L., Kamke, K., Choukas-Bradley, S., & Peterson, Z. D. (2020). Understanding adolescents’ attitudes toward affirmative consent. Journal of Sex Research, 57(9), 1100-1107. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2019.1711009
Jozkowski, K.N., Marcantonio, T.L., Willis, M., & Drouin, M. (2023). Does alcohol consumption influence people’s perceptions of their own and a drinking partner’s ability to consent to sexual behavior in a non-sexualized drinking context? Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 38(1-2), 128-155. https://doi.org/10.1177/08862605221080149
Jozkowski, K. N., & Peterson, Z. D. (2013). College students and sexual consent: Unique insights. Journal of Sex Research, 50(6), 517-523. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2012.700739
Jozkowski, K. N., & Peterson, Z. D. (2014). Assessing the validity and reliability of the Perceptions of the Consent to Sex Scale. Journal of Sex Research, 51(6), 632-645. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2012.757282
Jozkowski K. N., Peterson, Z. D., Sanders, S. A., Dennis, B., & Reece, M. (2014). Gender differences in heterosexual college students’ conceptualizations and indicators of sexual consent: Implications for contemporary sexual assault prevention education. Journal of Sex Research, 51(8), 904-916. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2013.792326
Marcantonio, T. L., & Jozkowski, K. N. (2023) Do college students feel confident consenting to sex after consuming alcohol? Journal of American College Health, 71(5), 1604-1611. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2021.1943413
Marcantonio, T. L., & Jozkowski, K. N. (2023). College students’ definition of non-consent and sexual refusals in the age of affirmative consent initiatives. Sex Education, 23(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681811.2021.2012446
Marcantonio, T.L., *O’Neil, A., & Jozkowski, K.N. (2022). Sexual consent cues among a sample of men who have sex with men in the United States. Psychology & Sexuality, 12(4) https://doi.org/10.1080/19419899.2021.1936141
Marcantonio, T. L., Valdez, D., & Jozkowski, K. N. (2022). An assessment of the cues college students interpret from a sexual partner to determine they are refusing. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 37(13-14) NP12352–NP12374. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260521997930
Marcotte, A. S., & Hille, J. J. (2021). Sexual violence and consent in the digital age. In A. Powell, A. Flynn, & L. Sugiura (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook on gendered violence and technology. Palgrave Macmillian, Cham.
Muehlenhard, C. L., Humphreys, T., Jozkowski, K. N., & Peterson, Z. D. (2016). The complexities of sexual consent among college students: A conceptual and empirical review. Journal of Sex Research, 53(4-5), 457-487. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2016.1146651
Peterson, Z. D., & Muehlenhard, C. L. (2007). Conceptualizing the "wantedness" of women's consensual and nonconsensual sexual experiences: Implications for how women label their experiences with rape. Journal of Sex Research, 44(1), 72-88. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490709336794
Richmond, K. P., & Peterson, Z. D. (2020). Perceived sex education and its association with consent attitudes, intentions, and communication. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 15(1), 1-24. https://doi.org/10.1080/15546128.2019.1669512
Richmond, K., Levand, M. A., & Peterson, Z. D. (2023). Sexual consent is more than a simple “yes” or “no”: Ways to promote positive sexual consent attitudes and behaviors (pp. 164-174). In B. Tavener (Ed.), Sex education research: A look between the sheets. New York, NY: Routledge.
Willis, M., & Jozkowski, K.N. (2022). Sexual consent perceptions of a fictional vignette: A latent growth curve model. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 51, 797-809. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-021-02048-y
Willis, M., & Jozkowski, K.N. (2022). Momentary versus retrospective sexual consent [erceptions. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 51, 811–819. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-021-02182-7
Willis, M., Jozkowski, K. N., & Marcantonio, T. L. (2022). Testing the Internal Consent Scale for measurement invariance across women and men. Sex Roles, 86, 711-721. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-022-01287-0
Willis, M., *Marcantonio, T. L., Jozkowski, K. N., Humphreys, T., & Peterson, Z. D. (2021). Sexual consent at first-time intercourse: Retrospective reports from university students in Canada and the United States. International Journal of Sexual Health, 33(2), 109-122. https://doi.org/10.1080/19317611.2020.1862382