'50 Shades' style sex promotes better attitudes to consent
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According to the study, published in the Journal of Sex Research, within the BDSM community so called 'rape myths' are not widely accepted and they appear to have far less widespread victim blaming attitudes.
“Affirmative consent norms” are one of the reasons why this is the case, according to co-author of the study, Kathryn Klement. By using negotiations and safe-words in their sexual activity, those who take part can make sure that all decisions are conscious, voluntary and mutual. This is all based on affirmative consent that is exemplified in the 'Yes means Yes' policy, which has been enforced in colleges and universities in some states of America including California and New York. In contrast, consent is sometimes assumed until someone says no.
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Ms Klement, as reported in inews, stated that she hoped the findings of this survey might alter stereotypical perceptions of the BDSM community, adding that the media often portrays the community as ‘deranged’.Ms Klement highlights that some criticise the 'Yes means Yes' campaign for having the potential to make sexual activity less exciting or sexy; but the BDSM community’s “idea that you can negotiate what you do, [and] it won’t lessen sexual desire is a good message”. This is an important conversation to have in a society where rape culture is still very much at large. There are countless examples of rape culture not only in our society as a whole but at university; 1 in 3 female students have experienced sexual assault or abuse at university, a study from 2015 found. This shocking statistic is just one reason why the stigma surrounding sexual assault needs to be fought.