One in five teenage boys "neutral" on whether consent is always required for sexual activity 3 months ago

One in five teenage boys "neutral" on whether consent is always required for sexual activity

 “Our research tells us that young people, parents and teachers are all looking for practical advice."

One in five teenage boys are "neutral" on whether consent is always required for sexual activity, new research has revealed.

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Around 2,000 students, teachers and parents contributed to research conducted by the NUI Galway Active Consent team.

The survey of 613 teenagers, aged 15-17 across five schools, showcased considerable differences between how teen boys and girls understand consent.

The survey revealed that 93% of girls and 79% of boys agreed that consent is always required for sexual activity, meanwhile, 18% of boys were neutral on whether it is always required, compared with 6% of girls.

62% agreed that consent for this activity always needed to be verbal.

According to the survey, 51% of boys were comfortable with intimate touching with someone they had just met at a party, compared to 7% of girls, with 35% of boys comfortable with having sexual intercourse with someone they just met at a party, compared to 5% of girls.

Meanwhile, 98% agreed that it was okay to say “no, I don’t want to” during sex.

83% of girls also said it was not okay to make an assumption about ongoing sex with a partner just because they had done it before, compared to 57% of boys.

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The findings are part of the development of a range of resources for use in schools which are being launched today as the NUI Galway programme aims to modernise sex education in schools and include the topic of consent in sex education classes.

“Our research tells us that young people, parents, and teachers are all looking for practical advice on open communication that is based on mutual respect," Dr Pádraig MacNeela, co-leader of the NUI Galway programme, said.