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Do teenagers understand sex and consent?

To find out, a group of 16-18-year-olds were shown a specially written drama about an incident to see if they could work out if it was consensual sex or whether a crime had been committed.

The teenagers watch a dramatised house party in which a sexual encounter takes place. They debate whether they think the female character, Gemma, consented to that encounter, and then vote on what happened. They were then asked to consider the scenario fromTom’s point of view – did he think he had consent? The results were interesting:

Did Gemma consent? Yes – 13% No – 54% Don’t know – 33%

Did Tom have consent? Yes – 54% No – 30% Don’t know – 16%

Was Gemma Raped? Yes – 87% No – 4% Don’t know – 9%

View the programme on  the BBC iplayer. 

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