From The Spartan Daily (San José State University student newspaper) (11.23.21)
'It Just Happened': SJSU Expert & Students Go Deep on Sexual Consent
“[A college’s] primary focus, and frankly, this is true in the broader society, is about legal and policy lenses to look at this stuff and while laws and policies are important, they are also only a part of what's going on,” Laker said. “If we just go to the question of whether what happened between those two in the bedroom was violating a policy or not . . . no wonder we have such an unsatisfying and further traumatizing situation there.”
From Associated Press and U.S. News & World Report (6.3.18)
Should Michigan Sex Ed Require 'Yes Means Yes' Curriculum?
Jason Laker, a San Jose State University professor, and Erica Boas, a Santa Clara University adjunct lecturer, began interviewing college students in 2012 about consent. About 100 times, students used a phrase like "it just happened" to describe an encounter. That exemplifies how vague but complex consent can be, Laker said. "The fact is that higher education currently treats the situation as if students hatch out of eggs at orientation," he said. "The reality is they're bringing 18 years of socialization and lived experiences."
Link to June 3, 2018 article here.
From Huffington Post coverage of ConsentStories™ (8.15.16)
Trying To Understand Consent? Ask The LGBTQ And Kink Communities
“It’s not black and white: this is what the non-kink people do and this is what the kink people do,” Boas cautioned. But the study is showing that in the LGBTQ and kink communities, “sexual consent doesn’t happen apart from a sexual encounter or a sexual act ― it happens as a part of that.”
Link to August 15, 2016 article here.
From InsideHigherEd.com's coverage of ConsentStories™ (8.2.16)
'It Just Happened'
“The idea of affirmative consent has resulted in progressive advancement of college policies,” Jason Laker, a professor in San Jose State University’s department of counselor education, said. “But just because you make it clearer what we expect in terms of consent from a legal or policy standpoint, that doesn’t change the fact that people are limited in their ability to meet those expectations.”
Link to August 2, 2016 article here.
From New York Times coverage of ConsentStories™ (1.9.16)
“These things are very tidy on paper, but in the private sphere, with two people going into a room, bringing with them expectations and assumptions, very often they are not on the same page,” said Jason Laker, a professor at San José State University, who, with a colleague, Erica Boas, created a project called Consent Stories [™], which aims to document how students communicate consent. “There’s a big gap between the laws and policies that stipulate consent, and people’s understanding of it,” Dr. Laker said.
Link to January 9, 2016 article here.
From Informatíon (Denmark) (9.8.16)
"We have also researched LGBTQ environments and 'kink communities' about dominance, sadism and masochism, and how their communication about consent works. There are often people who are involved with partners they do not know. And it is clear that you are much more obvious about what you want. It is part of the agreement you enter...it does not mean that you are verbal only. It is both and. Responsibility and respect for the borders of others are much more implicit in this kind of relationship," says Erica Boas, who, in line with Laker, points out that these practices can point to more open sexual communication.
"I would like to distinguish between consent teaching and consent law. The latter can help attorneys, administrators and investigators after something has happened and evidence is required. But it’s not something that in itself prevents abuse or helps people communicate better," explains Jason Laker."
Link to English translation of September 8, 2016 article here
From Harpers Magazine (March, 2016)
Signed and Dated
From a relationship contract created by a first-year male undergraduate and signed by him and a girlfriend. The contract is part of ongoing research for Consent Stories.
"I will not cheat. I will not flirt. I will not lie or avoid disclosing truths. I will not manipulate the relationship for profit. I will refrain from nagging. I will say “I love you” in a manner more significant than to my friends..."
Link to article in March 2016 issue here
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Consent Stories: Understanding the Language of Sexual Connection - March 3, 2016
Against the backdrop of concern with sexual violence on college campuses, Dr. Jason Laker and Dr. Erica Boas discuss their important research on the language of sexual consent among college students. In groundbreaking research on what they term “Consent Stories,” they found that far more prevalent than a hook-up culture was the difficulty of communicating sexual intention and consent or dissent. What Drs. Laker and Boas discuss is what we rarely consider in the communications of intimacy in our adult lives, much less in the understanding we pass on to our children. When is “yes a yes” and when is “no a no?” What about non-verbal communication? What about expectations and misconstrued social norms? In this episode, you will hear about ongoing research that is likely to have a powerful and protective impact in clarifying sexual intent and response in people from teens through adults. Don’t miss this.
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Giving Sexual Consent: Lessons to Learn - August 9, 2018
In a #metoo culture that has given voice to denied sexual abuse and misconduct, and at a time when campus sexual violence continues to be a tragic reality, the importance of giving and understanding sexual consent between people of any age is without question. In this episode Drs. Jason Laker and Erica Boas review and discuss the findings of their “Consent Story” research in which they asked college students about sexual experiences and how they communicate sexual intention, consent or dissent. Drs. Laker and Boas then compare and discuss new research that considers giving and getting sexual consent from members of LGBTQ and Kink groups. The findings are surprising and very important in contributing to thinking about communication that makes sexual consent essential to sexual relating.