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How to Teach and Learn Consent


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There was ‘no means no’. Then ‘yes means yes’. Now, we have notions of ‘enthusiastic consent’ and ‘continued consent’. Sexual consent might seem like a simple thing to understand, but the continued prevalence of harassment and sexual assault tells us it’s anything but.

Is our culture sending mixed messages? Can the tricky terrain of consent ever be reduced to a simple slogan or a straightforward set of principles that are universally understood and applicable? How can we get better at teaching, and practising, reciprocal respect in all sexual encounters?

In this discussion, we’ll explore these questions and more. We’ll look at sex education in schools and discuss how we can teach young people not just about biology, but also about desire and respect. We’ll look, too, at how power differences can affect the context in which consent is given, denied or withdrawn. Finally, we’ll talk through the principle of enthusiastic consent and discuss ways we can convey these ideas to young people.

Presented in partnership with Archer Magazine.



Amy Middleton

Amy Middleton is a Melbourne-based journalist and writer, who founded Archer Magazine, Australia’s first journal of sexual diversity, in 2013.  Archer is published twice-yearly by Amy and a small team, and its readership is growing at breakneck speed. Amy has written and edited for some of Austr... Read more

Anne-lise Ah-fat

Anne-lise Ah-fat is a community organiser, mother of two, facilitator and educator who is passionate about transformative justice. Anne-lise is a co-founder of Undercurrent Community Education Project, also works as a Training Coordinator – Practice in men’s family violence, a men’s be... Read more

Bexx Djentuh-Davis

Bexx is a Maori/Ghanaian women currently residing in Melbourne. Her passion for inclusion has seen her curate and develop events as big as conferences, all with the aim to platform communities that are often forgotten. Ranging from club nights (Box Oceania in Aotearoa, Alterity collective MELB) to c... Read more


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