Exploring Sexual Consent and Hostile Masculine Norms Using the Theory of Planned Behavior

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Abstract

Drawing on sexual violence prevention research and grounded in the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991), the current study examines the role of masculine norms in explaining men’s intentions to engage in consensual sexual behaviors. Undergraduate men (N = 144) completed surveys to report their conformity to/rejection of hostile masculine norms (i.e., acceptance of violence, power over women, and playboy), their attitudes toward asking for consent, their sense of perceived control over asking for consent, their intentions to ask for consent, and their engagement in indirect consent behaviors (i.e., use nonverbal cues and body language to determine consent). A path analysis revealed that men who endorsed hostile masculine norms reported a greater lack of control over asking for consent (β = .20, p < .05), more negative attitudes toward consent (β = −.39, p < .001), and reported more indirect consent behaviors (β = .27, p < .001). Implications and study limitations are addressed.

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