Sexual Consent in Young People’s Digital Communication Practices

Proceedings of The 3rd International Conference on Gender Studies and Sexuality

Year: 2023



Sexual Consent in Young People’s Digital Communication Practices

Kim R. Sylwander (PhD)




This study explores how consent has been conceptualized and studied in research on young people’s sexual communication online and through digital devices. By adopting an iterative review method the study maps recent developments within adolescent sexting literature in order to critically discuss how sexual consent is conceptualized within the literature. The review reveals the gendered and technological conditions youth face in their everyday digital sexual practices yet the limited ways in which consent has been considered within the literature. To enrich the recent turn toward consent within sexting literature this paper contributes to the field by drawing on concepts and findings from consent literature and suggests consolidation between the fields. The study further highlights the need to include a concept of consent in sexting literature which considers young people’s embeddedness in heteronormative technologies that reach far beyond their immediate social settings. Lastly, implications for sexuality education and policy are considered.

keywords: youth, sexuality, gender, technology, sexuality studies