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Gendered Beliefs May Make People Assume Sexual Consent

Image of a man and a woman sitting on a bench together in front of a sunset

The sexual double standard (SDS) is a belief that access to sexuality varies by gender. According to SDS, women are expected to be passive “gatekeepers” of sexual activity; men the “initiators.” Women are socially punished for having sex; men are rewarded. In a set of two experiments, Dr. Yuliana Zaikman examined how these gendered stereotypes might influence the way people think about sexual consent.