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The narrowed space between Sexual Consent & Passiveness

There is a thin line between consent and passiveness that is often misconstrued during a sexual encounter between two people or more whom are romantically linked. In most cases, the one party would misinterpret the other party’s passiveness or submissiveness for consent and this would leave the latter feeling conflicted between whether or not the sexual encounter was consensual or not.

This predicament often strikes women more than men. For instanceaccording to some cultures, men more than women are ‘allowed’ to make sexual advances towards their counterparts. This is often encouraged indirectly during the adolescent stage. During this stage more boys than girls get the so-called ‘proper sex education.’ For the male adolescents, they are often taken through the talk about what their penises are for, what do they do and why does it do the job it is meant to do. 


For the female adolescents, the talk focuses rather on why they should not engage in sex, that being in most cases, because they may fall victim to certain STI’s or fall pregnant at a very young age. There is a very clear distinction between how male adolescents and female adolescents are conditioned to view sex. While the former is taught about the intricacies of their private parts and how they are used and why, the latter on the other hand, for the most part, are left with not knowing whether it is acceptable or not to learn about the intricacies of their private parts, how they are used and why. Leaving most female adolescents confused about their sexuality and what sex is and why mankind engages in sex.

For most male adolescents, this ‘proper sex education’ thus leaves them at a much greater advantage of what sex constitutes as oppose to their counterparts. And when these two counterparts converse with one another about topics relating to sex, an impression is created that makes it seem like the male adolescent is more ‘advanced’ with sex education than the female adolescent. And for obvious reasons, such as those mentioned above. 


Upon this realization, the two adolescents might be left internally analysing why the discrepancies exist between them when the topic of sex is involved. With the male adolescent potentially left to believe that maybe he needs to know more about sex more than his counterpart because that is how things are meant to be, this impression further giving way to the belief that he has an upper hand to potentially ‘initiate’ such behaviour especially on someone who least knows much. 


Whereas the female adolescent will be potentially left to view sex as an encounter where she has to disregard her own sexual fantasies and allow the other party to be the one doing the sexual advances and have more control over what happens during a sexual encounter. 


Although this article taps into a small portion of an array of reasons to why such discrepancies exist between men and women on various views surrounding the nature of sexual behaviour and the roles adapted by each gender when such behaviour is concerned. More dialogues are needed to address this issue. It is happening and people’s lives continue to be negatively implicated because of such chauvinistic thinking.  


If a sexual encounter is not consensual in all parties involved even with those romantically linked, that constitutes RAPE.

About Nkwanyana Anele

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