Enthusiastic consent is a theoretical ideal on paper, but a nightmare in real-life intimacy.Worse, the inability of the enthusiastic consent model to move beyond guesswork, cues and assumptions plays right into normative — straight, white, cisgender, middle-class — ideas about society.There is no question that preventing sexual assault from occurring is of the utmost importance. We can’t keep talking about “reading the signs” and “feeling the mood.” If we continue relying on a nebulous set of unspoken rules, we necessarily restrict the consent we can give.But because the enthusiastic consent model is so vague, determining whether or not a real interaction was “enthusiastic” or not becomes next to impossible. When we say “enthusiastic consent,” our perception of “enthusiastic” immediately jumps to a stereotyped set of norms. How does an Asian man give “enthusiastic consent” when just about every depiction of Asian masculinity in media is desexualized and sterile?There is consistent evidence that crystal users are a high-risk group in terms of sexual behaviour.However, most relevant studies have provided only circumstantial evidence regarding a causal relationship.These hormones permanently alter brain structures and synapses, as well as future behavior, into male-like or female-like patterns, although the precise mechanism used to achieve these differences is poorly understood.
The hormonal control of sexual differentiation is well-established in rodents, in which prenatal androgens masculinize the reproductive tract and perinatal oestradiol (derived from testosterone) masculinizes the brain.While this column will not focus on basic Asexuality 101, I will quickly define asexuality as “the self-identity adopted by people who experience no to limited desires to engage in sex or sexual acts.” While this definition is not maximally inclusive, it is an attempt to contextualize my argument in a simpler way.Asexuality and interactions between other sexual minorities challenge the model of enthusiastic consent, the idea that a certain set of verbal, emotional and physical cues are needed before consent is truly received.This review summarizes current knowledge of the genetic and hormonal control of sexual differentiation of the reproductive system, brain and brain function.While the chromosomal regulation of sexual differentiation has been understood for over 60 years, the genes involved and their actions on the reproductive system and brain are still under investigation.