Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




In 2014, the White House launched its public awareness campaign, It's On Us, to end sexual assault on college campuses. A large portion of the initiative implemented on college campuses has been dedicated to the issue of sexual consent. However, as past research has illustrated, consent is a complex issue (Beres, Herold, and Maitland 2004; Beres 2007; Humphreys 2007; Jozkowski and Peterson 2013; and Jozkowski, Peterson, Sanders, Dennis, and Reece 2014). It is one that nonetheless can and should be studied. Face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with self-selected sexually active undergraduate students were conducted in an attempt to untangle how students are navigating and making sense of sexual consent. From that analysis, comparisons are drawn to higher education's institutional definition of sexual consent. It is significant to identify how students are modifying and pushing back against institutional definitions of consent as they make sense of their own sexual experiences. Findings indicate how students make sense of and employ sexual consent within their own lives.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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