Katie Querna, a PhD candidate who researches gender and sexuality norms, and Lucy Berliner, a clinical associate professor at the School and director of the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress, were interviewed by UW Medicine for a story in the March 2 Right as Rain newsletter.
The article explored sex and consent, topics in the news lately because of #TimesUp, #MeToo, Harvey Weinstein, Aziz Ansari and others. The story offered a robust list of tips and strategies focused on clear, effective and honest communications affecting both men and women.
Part of the issue stems from gender expectations, said Katie, who went on to explain that women are socialized to put others’ needs first, while men are generally not as tuned in to their own or others’ emotions. “Women are told we live in a world that isn’t safe for us,” said Katie, who is also a member of the UW Task Force for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, “so if a woman is uncomfortable in a sexual situation, that isn’t seen as unusual.”
Lucy suggests that women challenge gender norms by becoming more assertive about what they do and don’t want. “Changing social norms so people are more explicit about making sure that everybody’s on the same page is important,” she said. “It starts with communicating on all sides.”
Last month, Katie participated in a panel on “Sex and Consent on Campus,” part of the race and social justice track at the CrossCut Festival, sponsored by the news outlet Crosscut and hosted by Seattle University. The festival brought together some of the boldest thought leaders in politics, business and social justice activism over a two-day period.