Brent Stewart

Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services

First Advisor

Kara B. Wettersten


Sexual Consent is a central concept in the field sexual violence and sexual violence prevention (Beres, 2007). However, despite disproportional rates of sexual violence amongst LGBT+ community, currently our understanding sexual consent and its practice is primarily focused on heterosexual encounters of traditional college aged students (CDC, 2017, Muehlenhard, Humphreys, Jozkowski & Peterson, 2016). The current study utilized the Delphi method to develop a better understanding of sexual consent, sexual non-consent, and nonverbal sexual consent communication behaviors among two distinct groups: sexual researchers and men who have sex with men (MSM). Thirty-five panelists (13 researchers 22 MSM) completed one- three rounds of an interactive study in which they provided 31 initial descriptions of sexual consent and 20 descriptions of sexual non-consent. Through grounded theory analysis, these descriptions were collapsed into 6 qualities of sexual consent and 5 elements of sexual non- consent and ranked for importance. Panelists reviewed, critiqued, and sorted Beres et al. (2007)’s list of nonverbal sexual consent communication behaviors. Implications of the perception of these behaviors and implications for future research and practice are discussed.