Understanding the Importance of Sexual Consent among University Students

Hanindito Arief Buwono, Tri Hayuning Tyas
(Submitted 27 March 2021)
(Published 24 December 2021)


The knowledge about how young people understand sexual consent remains scant. This study aimed to understand how the university students perceived sexual consent and the importance of consent before engaging in sexual related activities with a partner. Using explanatory sequential mixed method approach, an in-depth interview was conducted to five participants following administration of survey questionnaire to obtain a general view on the issues around sexual consent. 102 active university students at the age between 18-25 years old participated in this study. The result of the questionnaire-survey was analysed with descriptive analysis and the in-depth interview data were transcribed and were analysed using the Interpretative Phenomenology Analysis (IPA). Integration of data was done to find pattern and relation between quantitative and qualitative data. Findings from this study suggest that young people, both young men and women, perceived sexual consent as important and, therefore, should be obtained before engaging in any sexual contact. While gesture and direct communication were the common techniques on communicating consent between genders, there were still difficulties in conveying the message of consent because of the subjective feeling and norms of the society.


consent; perception; sexual activity; sexual contact; sexual consent

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.22146/jpsi.64969


Abbey, A. (2002). Alcohol-related sexual assault: A common problem among college students. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, (14), 118–128.

Armstrong, E. A., Hamilton, L., & Sweeney, B. (2006). Sexual assault on campus: A multilevel, integrative approach to party rape. Social Problems, 53(4), 483–499.

Badan Pusat Statistik Indonesia (BPS) & Macro International (2008). Survei Kesehatan Reproduksi Remaja 2008 [2008 Adolescent Reproductive Health Survey]. BPS & Macro International.

Badan Pusat Statistik Indonesia (2018). Statistik Pemuda Indonesia [Indonesian Youth Statistics] . Retrieved from https://www.bps.go.id/publication/download.html?nrbvfeve=NTcyZjk0MTUxMWQwOTAwODNkZDc0MmQ2&xzmn=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYnBzLmdvLmlkL3B1YmxpY2F0aW9uLzIwMTgvMTIvMjEvNTcyZjk0MTUxMWQwOTAwODNkZDc0MmQ2L3N0YXRpc3Rpay1wZW11ZGEtaW5kb25lc2lhLTIwMTguaHRtbA==&twoadfnoarfeauf=MjAxOS0xMC0wMSAxNjowNTowMg==

Barnes, J.H., Jr. (1984). Cognitive biases and their impact on strategic planning. Strategic Management Journal 5:129–137.

Bazerman, Max H. (1990). Judgment in Managerial Decision-Making, 2nd ed. New York: Wiley.

Birt, L., Scott, S., Cavers, D., Campbell, C., & Walter, F. (2016). Member Checking. Qualitative Health Research, 26(13), 1802–1811. doi:10.1177/1049732316654870

Burt, M. R. (1980). Cultural myths and supports for rape. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 217-230. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.38.2.217

Busenitz, L., and Lau, C. (1996) A cross-cultural cognitive model of new venture creation. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice 20(4):25–39.

Chrisman, K., & Couchenour, D. (2002). Healthy Sexuality Development: A Guide for Early Childhood Educators and Families. NAEYC, PO Box 932569, Atlanta, GA 31193- 2569.

Creswell, J.W. (2018). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. SAGE Publications, Inc.

Creswell, J. W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Combs, J., Jordan, C. E., & Smith, G. T. (2014). Individual differences in personality predict externalizing versus internalizing outcomes following sexual assault. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 6, 375–383.

Conley, T. D., Matsick, J. L., Moors, A. C., & Ziegler, A. (2017). Investigation of consensually nonmonogamous relationships: Theories, methods, and new directions. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12, 205–232. doi:10.1177/1745691616667925

Cowling, M., & Reynolds, P. (2004). Making sense of sexual consent. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Donnelly, J. (1982). Human Rights and Human Dignity: An Analytic Critique of Non-Western Conceptions of Human Rights. American Political Science Review, 76(02), 303–316. doi:10.1017/s0003055400187015

DPR. (2019). Rancangan Undang Undang Penghapusan Kekerasan Seksual [Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence]. Retrieved from http://www.dpr.go.id/doksileg/proses2/RJ2-20170201-043128-3029.pdf.

Eze, I. R. (2014). Adolescents’ Attitude Towards Premarital Sex. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences. doi:10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n10p491

Fetters, M. D., Curry, L. A., & Creswell, J. W. (2013). Achieving Integration in Mixed Methods Designs-Principles and Practices. Health Services Research, 48(6pt2), 2134–2156. doi:10.1111/1475-6773.12117

Fisher, B. S., Cullen, F. T., & Turner, M. G. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women (NCJ 182369).Washington DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice.

Fujihara, T., Kohyama, T., Andreu, J.M., Ramirez. J.M. (1999). Justification of interpersonal aggression in Japanese, American and Spanish students. Aggr Behav 25:185–195.

Hall, D. S. (1998). Consent for sexual behavior in a college student population. Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, 1. Retrieved from http://www.ejhs.org/volume1/consent1.htm

Harris, V. W., Bedard, K., Moen, D., & Álvarez-Pérez, P. (2016). The role of friendship, trust, and love in happy German marriages. Marriage & Family Review, 52, 262–304. doi:10.1080/01494929.2015.1095268

Hickman, S. E., & Muehlenhard, C. L. (1999). ‘‘By the semi-mystical appearance of a condom’’: How young women and men communicate consent in heterosexual situations. Journal of Sex Research, 36, 258–272. doi:10.1080=00224499909551996

Humphreys, T. P. (2000). Sexual consent in heterosexual dating relationships: Attitudes and behaviours of university students (Doctoral dissertation).

Humphreys, T. (2007). Perceptions of sexual consent: The impact of relationship history and gender. Journal of Sex Research,44(4), 307-315. doi:10.1080/00224490701586706

Jozkowski, K. N. (2011). Measuring internal and external conceptualizations of sexual consent: A mixedmethods exploration of sexual consent. (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global. (Order No. 3466353)

Jozkowski, K. N., & Sanders, S. A. (2012). Health and sexual outcomes of women who have experienced forced or coercive sex. Women & Health, 52(2), 101–118. https://doi.org/10.1080/03630242.2011.649397

Jozkowski, K. N., & Peterson, Z. D. (2013). College Students and Sexual Consent: Unique Insights. Journal of Sex Research, 50(6), 517–523. doi:10.1080/00224499.2012.700739

Justicia, R. (2017). Pandangan Orang Tua terkait pendidikan seks untuk Anak Usia dini. Early Childhood: Jurnal Pendidikan, 1(2), 28–37. https://doi.org/10.35568/earlychildhood.v1i2.121

Komisi Nasional Perempuan Indonesia. (2021). Catatan Tahunan [Annual Notes]. Retrieved March 04, 2021, from https://komnasperempuan.go.id/catatan-tahunan

Koss, M. P., Gidycz, C. A., & Wisniewski, N. (1987). The scope of rape: Incidence and prevalence of sexual aggression and victimization in a national sample of higher education students. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 55(2), 162.

Lanford, A. (2016). Furman Humanities Review. Sex Education, Rape Culture, and Sexual Assault: the Vicious Cycle, 27. Retrieved from https://scholarexchange.furman.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=fhr

Mason, F., & Lodrick, Z. (2013). Psychological consequences of sexual assault. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 27(1), 27–37. doi:10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2012.08.015

McFarlane, J., Malecha, A., Watson, K., Gist, J., Batten, E., Hall, I., & Smith, S. (2005). Intimate Partner Sexual Assault Against Women: Frequency, Health Consequences, and Treatment Outcomes. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 105(1), 99–108. doi:10.1097/01.aog.0000146641.98665.b6

Merchant, K. (2012). How Men and Women Differ: Gender Differences in Communication Styles, Influence tactics, and Leadership Styles. Journal of computer-mediated communication.

Nassaji, H. (2015). Qualitative and descriptive research: Data type versus data analysis. Language Teaching Research, 19(2), 129–132. doi:10.1177/1362168815572747

Pietkiewicz, I., & Smith, J. A. (2014). A practical guide to using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis in qualitative research psychology. Czasopismo Psychologiczne Psychological Journal,20(1). doi:10.14691/cppj.20.1.7

Ramirez, J. M., Andreu, J. M., & Fujihara, T. (2001). Cultural and sex differences in aggression: A comparison between Japanese and Spanish students using two different inventories. Aggressive Behavior, 27(4), 313–322. doi:10.1002/ab.1014

Reis, M., Ramiro, L., Matos, M. G. de, & Diniz, J. A. (2011). The effects of sex education in promoting sexual and reproductive health in Portuguese university students. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 29, 477–485. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.11.266

Schwenk, C.R. (1984). Cognitive simplification processes in strategic decision-making. Strategic Management Journal 5:111–128

Sciaraffa, M & Randholph, T. (2011). “You Want Me to Talk to Children About What? Responding to the Subject of Sexuality Development in Young Children.” Young Children. Journal NAEYC. (19), 37-46.

Shotland, R.L., & Hunter, B.A. (1995). Women's 'Token resistant" and cornpliant sexual behaviors are relateci to uncertain sexual intentions and rape. Personalitv and Social PsychoIow BulIetin, 21,226-236.

Smith, J. A. (2015). Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. London: SAGE.

Walby, S. (1989). Theorising Patriarchy. Sociology, 23(2), 213–234. doi:10.1177/0038038589023002004

World Health Organization. (2017). Strengthening health systems to respond to women subjected to intimate partner violence or sexual violence. Retrieved March 22, 2021, from https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/violence/vaw-health-systems-manual/en/


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Jurnal Psikologi

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.