The topic of sex and sexual consent is a difficult one,
especially in Malaysia.
Not only because itâ€™s mired by centuries of taboos and traditions, but it’s also a highly divisive issue amongst the many lines of division in the nation from race to religion and even economic class.
Hoping to get some semblance of clarity on this contentious topic, the Centre for Governance and Political Studies (Cent-GPS) carried out a study on over 2,000 Malaysian males called “The Question of Sex in Malaysia”.
TRP has received Part 1 of the report and the results areâ€¦ interesting.
For one, they found that 65% of Malaysian men CANNOT correctly identify sexual consent.
For this study, the correct form of consent for sex has been identified as a verbal agreement a.k.a â€œyesâ€.
Only 34.6% of the respondents identified that sexual consent meant an explicit verbal yes.
30% said that they consider â€œmutual agreementâ€ as consent for sex. The men said that consent is given if a discussion has been had or if both sides had agreed to sex, but not identifying an explicit verbal yes.
Other interesting responses to consent included body language (13.2%), romantic attachment (3.6%) aaaaand non-objection (3.7%).
According to Cent-GPS, this meant that some men believed that sex with a girlfriend or wife is a â€œgivenâ€ if the relationship is established.
And that some cannot understand that a female partner not saying no is completely different from a female partner saying yes to sex.
We get it, navigating through the murky waters of sexual relationships is not easy. In fact, itâ€™s very hard to define consent for sex, as many NGOs and authoritative bodies have a hard time doing it.
However, explicit verbal consent is the agreed-upon standard.
Planned Parenthood states sexual consent is an agreement to participate in a sexual activity, where BOTH people must agree to sex â€” EVERY SINGLE TIME â€” for it to be consensual.
Without consent, sexual activity (including oral sex,
genital touching, and vaginal or anal penetration) is sexual assault or rape.
The easiest way to identify consent is by following this
analogy of giving someone a cup of tea as described by UKâ€™s Thames Valley
The University of California-Berkely also defined sexual consent through three pillars:
- Knowing exactly what and how much I’m agreeing to
- Expressing my intent to participate
- Deciding freely and voluntarily to participate
The results are hardly surprising as the news of a Malaysian woman lodging a police report on a man who removed the condom mid-sex (a.k.a stealthing) sadly revealed how little Malaysians understood of sexual consent and sexual assault.
Itâ€™s important to note that the respondents included in this study are urban males between 18-30 years old in the Klang Valley area. So, the results are not an accurate representation of the entire nation.
However, it does provide some interesting and much needed insight on the Malaysian male psyche in sex-related issues.
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