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Youngsters Are Afraid To Say No To Sex, Especially In A Relationship, Says Study

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Millennials may be empowered when it comes to pursuing sex, without the guilt our society wants to attach to it. But are we empowered enough to say no when we don’t actually want it? It’s almost like youngsters who want to appear modern and sexually charged feel afraid they will come across as primitive, pushing them to the bottom of their social surroundings. The concept of consent during sex is shaky right now.

Young women feel pressurised to be liked, to have sex when their partners want it, to make out on dates. Will they be seen as sexually immature? Orthodox? That’s one O they don’t want to be associated with. What if they don’t get another date with this guy they so definitely like?

It’s almost like FOMO but for sex. Everyone’s doing it. And you don’t want to be the lame one who says “let’s go for a walk” instead of “let’s stay home and bang”. You want to tell him to like not to make it so much about sex but you also worry about coming off as a prude.

We might refrain from talking about it because we don’t even know what we want. But a study reveals that you are not alone for feeling pressurised to sexing it up.

According to a study by National Youth Council of Ireland, most young people (58% of the sample group) don’t know what consent means and this is worrying, to say the least. This is based on the experience of youth workers and what they hear from the millennials.

They don’t know how to say “no”

The research found that 23% had issues with having the confidence required to say “no”. “Youth workers also spoke about how young people feared saying no because they were afraid of the repercussions, which included being judged, being called names and being rejected, particularly in a relationship,” reports the Irish Examiner. The study consisted of 255 people including youth workers and volunteers and five focus groups.

The study revealed that young people were also confused if they must ask “to keep going” during a sexual activity. “[Young people] think they know its ok to say no, but are unfamiliar with when [sexual activity] begins that they can also say no when engaged in the act…understanding that consent given once is not consent for a prolonged period of time or days.”

Peer pressure and sex

Apart from the communication issue, peer pressure and relationship status also made people hesitant to say no. In fact, it seems like several don’t even know what consent during sex means and that they don’t owe sex to their partner. They are having sex to “fit in”. What’s worse is that 60% respondents said they get their information about consent from their peers and we know people our age are possibly just as dumb as us. Also, word of mouth isn’t exactly accurate.

So what happens when a certain section thinks that being forced to have sex in a relationship is okay? According to a few young respondents, it isn’t rape. A woman also said that if she is in a relationship, her boyfriend can do whatever he wants. Erm, no? Now imagine, their peers gaining knowledge of consent from these individuals. It’s like a whole different pandemic out there!

Lack of sex education

The report highlighted that just 29% of the youth relied on their knowledge of consent during sex in their schools. It also said that most teachers felt awkward speaking about sexuality from a non-biological pov. “In the focus groups, some participants noted that some teachers in schools feel uncomfortable about teaching relationship and sexual education, and this in turn makes the young people feel awkward. They added that teachers should be trained in discussing relationships and sexuality with their pupils, including topics such as pornography, sexting, relationships, friendships and loyalty,” reports the Irish Examiner.

This can be alarming as the young generation will have regrets when they look back and realise much later what damage it did. The lines of consent will become further blurred as people don’t know their own rights and neither do they know how to seek consent. The awkwardness stems from the fact that there is a lack of direction and communication in terms of consent. They know that the concept exists but they don’t know the rules and what is a violation of it.

ALSO READ: Throwback Thursday: Dabangg’s Women Were There Just To Make The Men Look Good. Consent Is Not Even Considered

This puts the younger generation in grave danger is they won’t be able to understand date and relationship rape, be overridden with low self-esteem, and not know why. To tackle this issue, the council has published two guides on consent and hopefully, that will probably be a good start.

ALSO READ: Can We Normalise Seeking Verbal Consent, Even If We’re On A Date Or In A Relationship?


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