Condoms and consent

Nicole Vitellone

in Object Matters

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780719075681
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700877 | DOI:
Condoms and consent

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In November 2003, Marcus Dwayne Dixon, a high-school-football star, was convicted in Georgia, US, of aggravated child molestation and statutory rape, and was initially charged with raping a classmate, Kristie Brown, in a portable trailer on school property. The case of Dixon v. The State raises many questions regarding adolescence and consent. This chapter focuses on the significance of the condom. Dixon said he used a condom and threw it away. The investigators said ‘they did not look for the condom because they were certain he was not telling the truth’. Why were the investigators certain Dixon was not telling the truth? Why was Dixon perceived as not capable of using a condom? Why was sex with a condom simply not possible for this African American male teenager? If the condom was imagined as an extension of Dixon, would he have been charged with rape? Would the investigators have believed Dixon if he had been a white middle-class adolescent? The chapter explores these questions in greater detail, and does so by paying close attention to the similarities and differences in young men's and women's accounts of safer sex in empirical research on condom use. It begins by addressing the question of consent in the discourse of safer sex.

Keywords: safer sex; consent; condom; African Americans; male teenagers

Chapter.  6846 words. 

Subjects: Cultural Studies

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