Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Terry Humphreys

Advisor Role

Thesis Co-Supervisor

Second Advisor

Shoshana Pollack

Advisor Role

Thesis Co-Supervisor


Recently, researchers have begun to study how consent to sexual activity is negotiated between men and women in romantic relationships. Much of this research has focused on heterosexual relationships where factors affecting the process of consent include differential socialization between men and women. Consequently, the literature to date is arguably heterosexist in nature and evidently indirectly oppressive to individuals not identifying as heterosexual. Further, clinicians addressing issues of sexual consent have no literature to draw upon when working with gay males, lesbian women, or bisexual (GLB) individuals, potentially assuming heterosexist dynamics. Conducting research within a GLB population on sexual consent will not only render the sexual consent literature more inclusive, but also legitimize lifestyles other than heterosexual. This research therefore specifically explored sexual consent issues within a GLB sample and compare results to heterosexual males and females previously described in the literature. As such, 63 questionnaires were collected from GLB women and men (N = 63), including 32 lesbians, 25 gay males, 7 bisexual individuals, and 2 individuals who were questioning their sexuality. A number of measuring tools were used and include the sexual consent attitudes scale, the sexual consent behaviours scale, the tactic scale, token resistance, a relationship power scale, and a sex role scale (BSRI). Findings indicate that gay males and lesbian females did not differ on any aspect of sexual consent, suggesting that this population might be more homogenous as compared to reported sexual consent differences between heterosexual males and females. Implications are discussed.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season