Shulamit Sternin


2 Sexual Consent: Exploring the Perceptions of Heterosexual, Gay, and Bisexual Men

Authors: Shulamit Sternin, Raymond M. McKie, Carter Winberg, Robb N. Travers, Terry P. Humphreys, Elke D. Reissing


Issues surrounding sexual consent negotiation have become a major topic of societal concern. The majority of current research focuses on the complexities of sexual consent negotiations and the multitude of nuanced issues that surround the consent obtainment of heterosexual adults in post-secondary educational institutions. To date, the only study that has addressed sexual consent negotiation behaviour in same-sex relationships focused on the extent to which individuals used a variety of different verbal and nonverbal sexual consent behaviours to initiate or respond to sexual activity. The results were consistent with trends found within heterosexual individuals; thus, suggesting that the current understanding of sexual consent negotiation, which is grounded in heterosexual research, can serve as a strong foundation for further exploration of sexual consent negotiation within same-sex relationships populations. The current study quantitatively investigated the differences between heterosexual men and gay and bisexual men (GBM) in their understanding of sexual consent negotiation. Exploring how the perceptions of GBM differ from heterosexual males provides insight into some of the unique challenges faced by GBM. Data were collected from a sample of 252 heterosexual men and 314 GBM from Canada, the United States, and Western Europe. Participants responded to the question, 'do you think sexual consent and sex negotiation is different for heterosexual men compared to gay men? If so, how?' by completed an online survey. Responses were analysed following Braun & Clarke’s (2006) six phase thematic analysis guidelines. Inter-rater coding was validated using Cohen’s Kappa value and was calculated at (ϰ = 0.84), indicating a very strong level of agreement between raters. The final thematic structure yielded four major themes: understanding of sexual interaction, unique challenges, scripted role, and universal consent. Respondents spoke to their understanding of sexual interaction, believing GBM sexual consent negotiation to be faster and more immediate. This was linked to perceptions of emotional attachment and the idea that sexual interaction and emotional involvement were distinct and separate processes in GBM sexual consent negotiation, not believed to be the case in heterosexual interactions. Unique challenges such as different protection concerns, role declaration, and sexualization of spaces were understood to hold differing levels of consideration for heterosexual men and GBM. The perception of a clearly defined sexual script for GBM was suggested as a factor that may create ambiguity surrounding sexual consent negotiation, which in turn holds significant implications on unwanted sexual experiences for GBM. Broadening the scope of the current understanding of sexual consent negotiation by focusing on heterosexual and GBM population, the current study has revealed variations in perception of sexual consent negotiation between these two populations. These differences may be understood within the context of sexual scripting theory and masculinity gender role theory. We suggest that sexual consent negotiation is a health risk factor for GBM that has not yet been adequately understood and addressed. Awareness of the perceptions that surround the sexual consent negotiation of both GBM and heterosexual men holds implications on public knowledge, which in turn can better inform policy making, education, future research, and clinical treatment.

Keywords: Negotiation, sexual consent, heterosexual men, GBM, sexual script

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1 The Musician as the Athlete: Psychological Response to Injury

Authors: Shulamit Sternin


Athletes experience injuries that can have both a physical and psychological impact on the individual. In such instances, athletes are able to rely on the established field of sports psychology to facilitate holistic rehabilitation. Musicians, like athletes rely on their bodies to perform in much the same way athletes do and are also susceptible to injury. Due to the similar performative nature of succeeding as an athletes or a musician, these careers share many of the same primary psychological concerns and therefore it is reasonable that athletes and musicians may require similar rehabilitation post-injury. However, musicians face their own unique psychological challenges and understanding the needs of an injured athlete can serve as a foundation for understanding the injured musician but is not enough to fully rehabilitate an injured musician. The current research surrounding musicians and their injuries is primarily focused on physiological aspects of injury and rehabilitation; the psychological aspects have not yet received adequate attention resulting in poor musician rehabilitation post- injury. This review paper uses current models of psychological response to injury in athletes to draw parallels with the psychological response to injury in musicians. Search engines such as Medline and PsycInfo were systematically searched using specific key words, such as psychological response, injury, athlete, and musician. Studies that focused on post-injury psychology of either the musician or the athlete were included. Within the literature there is evidence to support psychological responses, unique to the musician, that are not accounted for by current models of response in athletes. The models of psychological response to injury in athletes are inadequate tools for application to the musician. Future directions for performance arts research that can fill the gaps in our understanding and modeling of musicians’ response to injury are discussed. A better understanding of the psychological impact of injuries on musicians holds significant implications for health care practitioners working with injured musicians. Understanding the unique barriers musicians face post-injury, and how support for this population must be tailored to properly suit musicians’ needs will aid in more holistic rehabilitation and a higher likelihood of musician’s returning to pre-injury performance levels.

Keywords: Injury, athlete, musician, psychological response

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