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Scripting Sexual Consent: Internalized Traditional Sexual Scripts and Sexual Consent Expectancies Among College Students

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Family Relations / Family Relations Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies

Published online on


College students are at a relatively high risk for both sexual assault victimization and perpetration, and understanding sexual consent is imperative to reduce the incidence of sexual assault. Informed by the interactionist perspective of feminist theory, we surveyed 447 undergraduate students to identify factors associated with heterosexual college students' expectancies related to sexual consent. Women who believed in sexual stereotypes and endorsed music that degrades women were less likely than other women to expect to engage in healthy negotiation of sexual consent. Men who were confident that they could avoid perpetrating nonsexual, physical interpersonal violence were statistically more likely to report practicing healthy negotiation of sexual consent. These results indicate that it is important for practitioners to consider individuals' sexual stereotypes in the prevention of interpersonal sexual violence.