Sexual Assault Research: Consent

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.

Selected Research Publications

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.

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.

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.

Jozkowski, K. N., & Peterson, Z. D. (2013). College students and sexual consent: Unique insights. Journal of Sex Research, 50(6), 517-523.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Willis, M., & Jozkowski, K.N. (2022). Momentary versus retrospective sexual consent [erceptions. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 51, 811–819.

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.

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.

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