With conversations about sexual violence, consent, and bodily autonomy dominating national conversations it can be easy to get lost in the onslaught of well-intended but often poorly executed messages. Through an exploration of research, scholarly expertise, and practical real-world application we can better formulate an understanding of what consent is, how we create consent cultures, and where the path forward lies.
This book is designed with both educators and parents in mind. The tools highlighted throughout help adults unlearn harmful narratives about consent, boundaries, and relationships so that they can begin their work internally through modeling and self-reflection. We then uncover what consent truly is and is not, how culture plays an integral role in interpersonal scripting, and how teaching consent as a life skill can look in and out of the classroom. By integrating the need for consent to be taught in schools and homes we build bridges between the spaces where children learn and create alliances in the often-daunting task of eradicating rape-culture.
This book is perfect for those already comfortable and familiar with this topic as well as those newer to understanding consent as a paradigm. Starting with a strong historical and research-informed foundation the book builds into action-oriented guidelines for conversations, curriculum, and community activism. This blended approach creates a guidebook that is unlike anything else on the market today.
Laura McGuire is a sexual violence prevention and inclusion subject matter expert and sexologist. She brings her experience as a teacher, survivor, mother, and consultant to the conversation of consent education.
“Consent is rooted in all interpersonal exchanges,” advises McGuire, a sexual health educator, in this invaluable debut. Conversations about consent often happen between parents and children, McGuire writes, but the issue is frequently “watered down” with incomplete information. McGuire defines consent (“respect for the dignity, personhood, and well-being of every living thing”) and makes the case that it should be taught both at home and at school: while parents can model good morals, children’s exposure to morality should not “happen in a vacuum.” Consent, the author argues, can be taught as early as 18 months (when a child first understands the word no), and can be “infused” in every subject taught in school. Science class, for instance, could highlight the chemical reactions that occur in the body during decision-making or trauma, while human rights could be addressed in English or social studies classes. A list of key takeaways rounds out each chapter, and McGuire proposes questions to prompt conversations with children (asking them “what movies tell us” about how men and women should behave, for example). McGuire offers a path to create a culture that is respectful of each individual’s autonomy and personal boundaries. Teachers and parents looking to enrich their conversations about consent should give this a look.
This volume by McGuire, a sexologist and consent educator with expertise in the areas of sex education, gender identity, and treatment of victims, addresses the need for education programs to include expanded coverage of consent. She argues that consent can only be adequately understood and explained in the context of modeling social change after the cultures of rape-free societies, removing the negative labeling of all activities surrounding sexual interaction and sexual identity. This social change can be accomplished by revising educational programs that address sexuality and sexual identity so that students are prepared to create these needed changes. There is extensive coverage of the history and issues surrounding debate about consent, concluding with curriculum recommendations. The text is clearly written and within the grasp of those with a high-school education. Limited use is made of the results of a survey, with limited attention to research methodology. The book is lightly referenced and does not have an index, limiting its use for research purposes. It will be most suitable for libraries serving the general public or those that seek expanded holdings in sex education, gender identity, or sexual victimization. Recommended.
Consent education is vast, complex, and emotionally exhausting.” Dr. Laura McGuire has tackled this challenge in her book. Her research, understanding, and professional experience offer much needed information, guidelines, and tools for parents and educators – or literally anyone who cares about the future for our children. McGuire takes the reader through history to the continued work needed in the future.
10/26/22, Giddy: Laura McGuire was interviewed about the book.
1/8/21, Publishers Weekly: Featured in the "Happy Parents’ Day: New Parenting Books 2021" announcements Link: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/new-titles/adult-announcements/article/85273-happy-parents-day-new-parenting-books-2021.html