Original Research - Special Collection: Life Orientation or Life Disorientation

Exploring understandings of sexual consent amongst Life Orientation student-teachers through intergroup dialogue

Mathabo Khau
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 17, No 1 | a1093 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v17i1.1093 | © 2021 Mathabo Khau | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 May 2021 | Published: 29 September 2021

About the author(s)

Mathabo Khau, Post Graduate Studies Department, Faculty of Education, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa


In this article, the author reports on how intergroup dialogue was used amongst Life Orientation (LO) student-teachers to deconstruct the heteropatriarchal notions of sexual consent, in the context of gender-based violence (GBV). Three sessions of intergroup dialogue were arranged between third-year student-teachers and female survivors of GBV from a local Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) in exploring the perceptions of sexual consent, to deepen their understanding regarding the concepts of shaming, blaming and silencing that perpetuate GBV in communities. Third-year LO student-teachers engaged in dialogue with four youth survivors of GBV from a local NPO who shared their experiences of GBV and sexual consent. The heteropatriarchal views to GBV held by student-teachers were disrupted through the dialogues between the two groups thus enabling a greater understanding of sexual consent and the role played by shaming, blaming and silencing of victims in perpetuating GBV. The findings highlighted that intergroup dialogue could be a useful tool in creating norm-critical and sex-positive schools and communities.


gender-based violence; heteronormativity; intergroup dialogue; patriarchy; sexual consent.


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