Yesterday I blogged about how bringing up our children to explicitly ask for permission before sexual contact with another was important to teach respect and to help mitigate the number of rapes and sexual assaults that are never brought to prosecution because of so called “grey areas” of consent.
Even ignoring the implication here that anyone shouldn't be waiting for yes”, which is a bit rapey to start with, it ignores my point that asking yes should be part of the process. It should be romantic because mutual respect is a good foundation for romance to start with. I suspect the implication here is “If I ask for permission, I might be told no”.
Here, Andrew shifts the balance of power from explicit permission (good) to explicit denial (bad). This attitude tells children/teenagers that sexual congress is their right to take unless denied. It gives the upper hand to the aggressor and leaves those who are vulnerable or with less self confidence to try and wrestle control of the situation. “Sex is yours to take” is hardly what I call a healthy attitude, even though it is the prevalent one in society.
Here, we're back to the original premise of my post. Teenagers are incredibly bad at judging what other people's intentions are. “Four noes and a yes means yes” is far too common a thought. By teaching the only yes is a yes, and that it is your responsibility to ask for that yes, it removes any chance of ambiguity. It you're not mature enough to be able to ask if it's ok to touch someone in a sexual manner, you might not be mature enough to be doing it in the first place.