In a healthy relationship, both partners are able to express their feelings and respect each other’s boundaries about sex. You shouldn’t have to have sex to keep your partner. You may feel comfortable kissing or holding hands but not want to go any further.
‘Sexual relationships work best when everybody is clear about what they want. If you don’t tell your partner what you want, you might find you expect different things.’
The study from WSU’s Murrow Center for Media & Health Promotion Research found that college women who believe in traditional gender stereotypes were significantly less likely to ask for and adhere to their partner’s consent to sexual activity and were less likely to refuse unwanted sexual advances. Researcher Stacey J.T. Hust and her colleagues also found that acceptance of music media’s degradation of women was associated with unhealthy sexual consent negotiation.
“Our findings suggest college women’s acceptance of degrading media portrayals of women, like those we see in current popular music videos such as DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One” or Katy Perry’s “Bon Appetit,” plays a role in their real-life sexual relationships,” Hust said. “Holding stereotypical beliefs about sexuality and endorsing music that degrades women may be a reflection of a broader attitude that men hold power over women,” suggested second author Kathleen Boyce Rodgers.
College should be an ideal time to encourage students’ participation in sexual assault prevention programs due to the prevalence of sexual experimentation and the subsequent risk for sexual assault victimization and perpetration during this time. “Our study suggests that programs that utilize media to empower women to reject traditional sexual scripts could create awareness and stimulate conversation about consent, sexual expectations and stereotypes,” Rodgers said.
The study appears in the journal Family Relations.