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Some men mistake sexual interest for consent,
When it comes to having sex, consent is crucial. While that may seem obvious, a new study in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence reveals that some men perceive a woman’s interest in them as consent for sex, misinterpreting a woman’s sexual intentions.
It may sound like splitting hairs, but there’s a difference between being interested in having sex with someone (sexual interest) and actually deciding to act on that desire (consent to sex). The problem, according to the new research, is that some men have difficulty differentiating between the two.
For the study, researchers shared a series of hypothetical sexual scenarios with 145 heterosexual male college students and asked how they would respond. The researchers found that most men tended to confuse perceived sexual interest with being given the green light to have sex.
“Sexual interest — also referred to as sexual wantedness or desire — is a subjective experience of desiring or wanting sexual interaction with another person, whereas consent is the freely given communication of willingness to actually engage in a sexual interaction,” study author Richard E. Mattson, director of graduate studies in psychology and an associate professor at Binghamton University, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
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