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What Even is Consent? An Investigation Into Educational and Media Presentations of Consent

Our work was focused on understanding why, after years of messaging, consent remains an ambiguous topic, and there are far too many rapes, sexual assaults, and coercive encounters. We believed that messaging received from media and social norms around sex

Consent in Television Header

Kohan, Jenji, director. Orange Is the New Black. Netflix Official Site, 1 July 2017,

S: 3 EP:10

After Pennsatucky, a woman prisoner, begins to befriend Charlie Coates, one of the prisoner guards, he assaults her. Throughout the show they never had the best relationship, as expected by their roles. But it is believed that he took on the oppurtunity of raping her by befriending her. This violates consent because she had no intentions of having a sexual relationship with the guard nor did she verbally say “yes” when the situation escalated. The act was obviously done through his power of authority he had over her.


Winer, Jason, director, New girl. Netflix Official Site, 9 April 2019.

S:2 E: 23 “Virgins” Time: 2:45

Within this episode the characters revisit their first times having sex. While Jess, the main character, discusses her prom night, the scene becomes a flashback. Jess and the boy that she went to prom with are in a hotel room. The boy repeatedly asks her if he has permission to touch her, and Jess repeats back he has permission. With this consent the boy proceeds, however, continues to ask before making any movement towards her if Jess feels safe and if he has permission. Clearly this does not violate consent as both the boy and Jess were comfortable with the idea of having sex.