Playlist teacher guide - Consenting to sex

Playlist information

Playlist summary

The Consenting to sex playlist explores the role that consent plays in safe and respectful intimate relationships. Consent is a complex area and it’s important to have a clear understanding of what consent is, and how to gain and give consent. The media items in this playlist explore consent through the lens of the individual, society and gender. The Field Model is used to unpack scenarios at key decision points.

Playlist purpose

The content of the playlist supports students to:

  • Identify practical strategies for talking about sex and gaining and giving consent in relationships.

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Learning objectives

  • Understand how to recognise a range of disrespectful behaviours that can occur in relationships (including coercion, leverage, manipulation).
  • Understand that consent is a complex area and it is each individual’s responsibility within the situation to ensure they are being clear about whether they are giving and receiving consent from the others involved.
  • Propose practical and realistic ways to behave ethically in relationships to ensure all encounters are consensual.
  • Identify cues in real-life situations and practical and realistic ways to communicate when consent is and isn't being given.

Key messages

  • If someone is too intoxicated or affected by other substances to drive, then they are unable to give or gain consent.
  • If a person says yes but they were too frightened to say no, then it is not consent.
  • When dealing with situations or issues about consent it’s always important to double check that you are reading it right.
  • Having the skills to understand, give and receive consent can help people to have safe and respectful relationships.

Year level(s) appropriate for

Year 9, Year 10, Year 11, Year 12

Australian curriculum links

Investigate how empathy and ethical decision making contribute to respectful relationships.

Propose, practise and evaluate responses in situations where external influences may impact on their ability to make healthy and safe choices.

Plan, rehearse and evaluate options (including CPR and first aid) for managing situations where their own or others’ health, safety and wellbeing may be at short or long-term risk.

Media items

Sex and society

Type: Page.

Duration: 5 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: Society, laws, gender, family and friends, cultures and religions, alcohol and drugs, technology - all have the potential to influence or exert pressure when it comes to how you manage physically intimate situations. It's important to understand how these external influences can shape your thoughts about sex and the way you approach physical intimacy with another person.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Does the media and popular culture influence the way we approach physically intimate relationships? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
  2. Question number 2. Do you think for some people the external pressures and influences can over-ride what an individual wants in relation to sex? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
    Discussion points:

    There are so many external influences and pressures that people are exposed to around having sex that sometimes it can be difficult to separate what society tells you you should think and feel about sex and what you actually think and feel about sex. To explore this concept further, discuss the following questions:

    • What do you think are the most significant influences on choices about having sex for people your age?
    • What are some ways that you can recognise and respond to the external pressures and influences to have sex?
    • How can you ensure that your partner is not being influenced by the external pressures to have sex?
    • How can you make sure that any decisions you make in relation to sex are truly what you and your partner want and are not being influenced by external pressures?

     

Sex and gender norms

Type: Page.

Duration: 2 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: Gender norms suggest that a person is expected to behave a certain way because of their gender. Gender norms vary across countries and cultures and change as society changes. When it comes to intimate relationships, gender norms can influence how someone approaches physical intimacy and relationships. Gender norms are generalisations and don't reflect actual individuals, with their own inner worlds and thoughts and feelings.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Does one gender have more to lose if they decide to have sex? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
  2. Question number 2. Do you think your gender should influence your decisions about having sex? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
    Discussion points:

    It is often said that there are double standards between genders when it comes to sex. To explore this concept further, discuss the following questions:

    • Do you think decisions about sex are easier for males or females? Why? Why not?
    • Does one gender have more to lose if they decide not to have sex? Who determines what they might lose?
    • Do you think there are different “rules” about having sex based on a person’s gender? What are the different rules and who decides the rules? What are the “penalties” for not following the rules for your gender?
    • How could you challenge the rules if you think they are unfair, unrealistic or harmful?

Talking about sex

Type: Page.

Duration: 2 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: Talking about sex can be really difficult, especially when a relationship is still in its early stages. It is important to create a safe and trusting space where both partners can be honest about their feelings and discuss what they want in relation to sex. The only way to know how the other person is feeling is by communicating with them, and not just with body language although that is important. Ask questions, listen to the other person’s words, and pay close attention to their body language.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Would you feel confident talking to a partner about how you feel about sex? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
  2. Question number 2. Would you want your partner to feel comfortable talking to you about sex? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
    Discussion points:

    Talking about sex can be really difficult, especially when a relationship is still in its early stages. It is important to create a safe and trusting space where both partners can be honest about their feelings and discuss what they want in relation to sex. To explore this concept further, discuss the following questions: 

    • How might your emotions influence your ability to talk to your partner about sex? 

    • How can you create a safe place where you can start a conversation about sex with your partner? 

    • Why is it important to have these conversations before you start getting intimate? 

    • How could you initiate a conversation with your partner to find out how they feel about sex? 

Negotiating consent

Type: Page.

Duration: 4 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: A safe and respectful relationship is built on many shared decisions, big and small. Negotiating each of these decisions can be complex, and sometimes strong emotions influence how well one person acknowledges the person's wants and needs. The Field Model provides a helpful framework for making shared decisions within a relationship.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Do you think the Field Model will help you to negotiate the decisions around getting intimate with a partner more effectively? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
  2. Question number 2. Do think it’s common to for someone to respond ‘maybe’ when they really want to respond ‘no’? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
    Discussion points:

    The Field Model provides a great framework for making shared decisions within a relationship, but it only works if both partners respect the decisions of the other person. To further explore this concept, discuss the following questions:

    • Why is it important to respect the other person’s decision in the Field Model?
    • What ways can you act in order to show you respect the other person’s decision?
    • What sorts of actions or responses would show disrespect for someone’s decision?

Charlie talks about sex and consent

Type: Video.

Duration: 3 minutes.

Source: Charlie McDonnell. ()

Summary: Charlie talks about the importance of consent and when it might be a problem to assume that there is consent.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Did you find this video useful? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
  2. Question number 2. Do you think Charlie’s rules about sex are easy to follow? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
    Discussion points:

    It’s a really good idea to have your own personal set of rules that you follow when it comes to making decisions about sex. These could be rules like – “if I’m drunk sex is a bad idea”. To further explore this concept, discuss the following questions:

    • Which of Charlie’s rules resonated with you?
    • What rules do you think it is important to follow for yourself when you are making decisions about sex?
    • Do you think these rules have changed since your parents were your age?

     

Scenario: yes then no, is no

Type: Page.

Duration: 3 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: When one person wants one thing and another person wants something different, there's conflict. How that conflict is managed can depend on the nature of the relationship. Sometimes it's hard to stand up for what you want or how you feel if there is an unequal balance of power. In this scenario, one person holds power over the other person. The Field Model helps work through key decision points.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Do you think Elisabeth showed courage to stand up to Paul’s unwanted advances? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
  2. Question number 2. In situations where there is a conflict, do you think the Field Model would help with stepping through each decision in a situation? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
    Discussion points:

    It is sometimes hard to stand up for what you want or how you feel if there is an unequal balance of power in the relationship. In this situation Paul held a lot of power because Elizabeth needed to keep the job so she could pay rent. To further explore this scenario, discuss the following questions:

    • What cues did Elisabeth give to indicate what her expectations were of the evening?
    • What cues did Paul give to indicate what his expectations were for the evening?
    • Did Paul move the line in this situation? How?
    • What are some other examples that you can think of when an unequal balance of power might make it difficult to say no?
    • How can you manage an unequal balance of power in a relationship and feel comfortable to say no in situations when you are being asked to do something that you don’t want to do?

Consenting to sex - wrap-up

Type: Page.

Duration: 1 minute.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: A quick wrap-up of the Consenting to sex playlist.

Activities and extras

The following additional resources can also be shared and discussed with students:

This podcast explores what some might call the gray space when it comes to consent and highlights the importance of ensuring you have an enthusiastic yes before you initiate any intimacy.

This short Youtube video includes young people discussing their own experiences when it comes to talking about what they wanted from their relationship.

This is a personal narrative published via Twitter about one woman’s experience of consent after too many drinks.