Hey there, everyone! I’m Mariaha. The ME. Project Coordinator here at Teen Health Mississippi, and today, we’re diving into a topic that’s been buzzing around a lot lately—consent. It’s an especially hot topic this month because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Why the Buzz About Consent?

You might be wondering why everyone is talking about consent, right? Well, it’s a big deal, especially when it comes to sexual health. It’s all about asking for permission to do something and making sure everyone involved is on the same page.

Understanding Consent

So, let’s break it down. Planned Parenthood created an easy acronym, “FRIES,” to help us all remember what consent is.  Yes, like “French Fries!” Consent is freely given, reversible, informed, and enthusiastic. If you’re wondering how to get or give consent, I’ll share a few examples.

Freely Given: meaning a person is choosing to say yes when they are also free to say no. Imagine you want to kiss someone. If they say, “Sure, you can kiss me,” and there’s no pressure or force, that’s freely given consent.

Reversible: means any one can change their mind at any time. If someone initially gives you permission to do something, like kissing, but then changes their mind, it’s crucial to respect that change and not proceed without their renewed consent.

Informed: Allow your partner to know all information, including sexual history. 

For consent to be given, the person must know the full story. Be honest and follow through. If someone says they’ll use a condom, but they don’t, that’s not informed consent.

Enthusiastic means a person should only do what they want, not what they feel they are expected to do. Enthusiastic consent means the person is genuinely willing and excited about the action. It’s not just a casual “maybe,” a half-hearted agreement, or a result of someone feeling pressured or scared.

Specific: Although one person says “yes” to one thing, they may not say “yes” to another. Consent should be specific and clear. Keep the lines of communication open and clearly communicate with your partner.

Common Misconceptions About Consent

Now, let’s tackle a couple of common misconceptions:

Maybe isn’t Consent:

  • If someone says, “Maybe I can kiss her on the cheek. I’ll just sneak in and do it,” that’s not a clear yes. Consent requires a definite yes or no from both partners.

Changing Minds:

  • A person is allowed to change their mind at any time. If someone initially agrees to go on a date but later changes their mind, their original consent is no longer valid. Always check in and make sure everyone is still comfortable with the plan.

Consent Cannot Be Given Under the Influence:

  • Consent given under the influence of drugs or alcohol or when the other person is afraid or feeling pressured is not consent. It also cannot be given if a person is cognitively impaired in any way.

Remember, consent is about communication, mutual understanding, and respect. It’s a crucial aspect of healthy relationships and personal boundaries and should be an ongoing conversation.

So, there you have it—an overview of consent from yours truly! If you have more questions or need guidance, feel free to reach out. Until next time, stay awesome, and keep those communication lines open! 🌟💙

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *