If you were feeling hopeful about the human race this morning, I’m sorry, I have bad news.
Turns out we really are trash. Why? Because almost half of us think that it’s not possible to withdraw consent once you’re naked.
That’s right. Nearly half of the 2,000 people asked in a survey by the Family Planning Association believed that when you’re naked, you’re obliged to have sex.
Even worse, 9% of those asked said that it wasn’t okay to withdraw consent if you’ve been bought dinner or drinks. So basically one in ten people think that the price of a bowl of pasta and half a bottle of Merlot means you no longer have any right to decide whether you want sex or not.
And if you were hoping that these outdated views might be confined to one generation, you’d be wrong. A very slightly less depressing 39% of people between the ages of 14 and 17 believed that you can’t withdraw consent once you’re naked.
To clarify, the law is very clear and it is totally possible to withdraw consent when you’re naked. Legally you are entitled to withdraw consent at any point, including during sex. If you say no and the person you’re having sex with doesn’t listen to you, then they have violated your consent and could be found guilty of rape or sexual assault.
The Family Planning Association, who commissioned the study, have announced that the theme of their sexual health week 2018 (that’s this week) is consent.
Chief Executive of the Family Planning Association, Natika Halil made a statement saying that the findings were worrying. ‘It’s been encouraging to see the cultural shift in society over the past year, with calls for better understanding of and respect for consent. But it’s really worrying that people of all ages think that it’s not OK to withdraw consent in a range of situations. It’s always okay to say no to sexual activity that you’re not comfortable with, whatever the situation — and it is equally important to listen to and respect your partner if they want to stop.’
You can read the full findings here.