Being open and honest about sex
WRITTEN BY JENNIFER ALLFORD
ILLUSTRATED BY WENTING LI
Sexual consent is understanding and giving permission for sexual activity, which you can communicate through words and
In any healthy relationship, knowing
what’s acceptable and when is
important. It’s even more so in intimate
relationships. In these relationships,
consent is essential.
“Consent as a concept starts when
children are very young,” says Heather
Cobb, a sexual health promotion
specialist with Alberta Health Services
in Calgary. “For example, we often teach
children that they need to kiss granddad.
We don’t really give them an option. We
say, kiss him goodbye, give him a hug.”
But we all get to decide what we do
with our bodies. We can encourage
kids to choose how they interact
with others—whether they give their
granddad a high five or a hug. “When
children learn that they get to decide
who touches them and who is coming
into their space, that translates to when
they get older and become sexually
active,” Cobb says.
In Canada, the age of consent varies.