NUI Galway’s Active Consent Programme Focus of Talk in New Lecture Series

May 22 2019 Posted: 11:54 IST

As part of a new Spotlight on Research lecture series at NUI Galway’s College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, NUI Galway researchers will deliver a lecture on the ground-breaking Active Consent programme. The lecture will take place on Thursday, 6 June in GO11, Moore Institute.

The team will describe the importance of sexual consent as a window on young people’s openness in talking about sensitive topics, and the scope to expand this conversation into mental health and the use of alcohol and drugs.

Developed by Dr Pádraig MacNeela, Dr Siobhán O’Higgins and Kate Dawson of the School of Psychology, and Dr Charlotte McIvor, O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, this talk will theorise the signature approach of the Active Consent programme team in relationship to the current policy and educational landscape around sexual health education and assault prevention in Ireland and internationally. Working together since 2014, this team, comprised of researchers from Psychology, Health Promotion, and Drama and Theatre Studies, designs evidence-informed tools (based on survey and qualitative data), including workshops and creative arts interventions, which in turn facilitate dialogue regarding consent and sexual health. The team’s embrace of consent as an active, positive educational paradigm – inclusive of all genders, all relationships and all sexualities – is intended to empower young people as active agents in the negotiation of their sexual relationships.

Now funded between 2019-2023 by the Lifes2good Foundation with support from NUI Galway, the Active Consent programme has set the objective of unifying third-level, secondary school and sporting organisations’ provision of consent-focused sexual health education. This talk will reflect on the team’s learning since 2014 in partnership with young people, trends in third-level Irish sexual health data that they have observed over this period, and why they believe that a multi-disciplinary approach, which considers interdependent educational and community sectors, is essential for sustainable change in social and personal attitudes towards consent within sexual relationships in a post-#MeToo era.

Dr Seán Crosson, Vice-Dean for Research in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, said: “The Spotlight on Research series aims to highlight the world leading and ground-breaking research being undertaken across our College. Academics within the College have received national and international recognition for the research they are undertaking, including major awards and research funding for ground-breaking interdisciplinary projects such as the Active Consent programme. This series provides a platform for us to bring these research achievements to the attention of both the academic community and the wider general public.”


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