Sexual Consent Attitudes and Rape-Supportive Norms Among Gender and Sexual Minority Students

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Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy

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College students’ views on sexual consent are developed in discussion with their peers and impacted by the traditional sexual script. This script prescribes gender roles that encourage men's coercion and facilitate victim‐blame. This heteronormative script may be less applicable to sexual minority individuals during same‐gender sexual relationships and to gender minority individuals, who often hold more fluid views on gender. We examine the consent attitudes and perceived rape‐supportive peer norms of American gender and sexual minority (GSM) college students. Using archival data from a campus climate survey (N = 2040), we conducted a series of chi‐square analyses to compare student consent attitudes and perceptions of rape‐supportive peer norms by GSM status and gender. GSM students (vs. cisgender heterosexual students) and women and nonbinary people (vs. men) reported higher support for sexual consent. Having an identity that differs from the roles prescribed in traditional sexual scripts may confer an advantage in developing prosocial views of sexual consent.


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