Planned Parenthood Creates Consent Videos
February 29, 2016
Most people go on the Internet regularly, and nearly every teen has watched videos on websites like YouTube. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the U.S. non-profit organization that provides affordable reproductive healthcare and education to anyone who needs it, has released a video series for high school and college-aged students that focuses on the issue of sexual consent, which is when a person agrees to certain sexual behaviors.
There are four videos in the series, and each one shows a range of situations where there are either clear signs of consent or potential confusion. Two of the videos, “When They’re Kinda Into It” and “When They’re Just Not Into It,” aim to show young adults how to deal with situations where doing something sexual starts to feel uncomfortable.
The videos are great in that they show a sense of diversity. Gay couples and interracial couples are featured just as they should be: like any other relationship. Another awesome aspect is that they illustrate consent between two people who could be either in an established relationship or partners in a more casual or newer relationship. Consent is important in any relationship, no matter the level of commitment, and these videos show that it needs to be paid attention to in any sexual encounter. The best part of these videos is their focus on both verbal and non-verbal signs of consent. If a partner doesn’t come out and say “no” to a sexual behavior but seems reluctant, some people might see that as a “gray area.” The videos show that body language can also be a clear sign that a person should stop what they’re doing and check in with his or her partner.
The Planned Parenthood videos can still feel slightly like watching the cheesy movies that are often seen in high school health classes, and the acting is not always great. But the humor is a nice touch, and overall, the clips are much better than videos that are all about scare tactics and graphic pictures of sexually transmitted diseases. These new videos promote being positive and in control of your own body and teach how important it is to make sure your partner is willing to go forward with whatever you’re considering doing sexually.