Teen films of the 1980s were notorious for treating consent as irrelevant, with scenes of boys spying in girls' locker rooms and tricking girls into sex. While contemporary movies now routinely prioritize consent, ensure date rape is no longer a joke, and celebrate girls' desires, sexual consent remains a problematic and often elusive ideal in teen films. In this book, the author traces the history of adolescent sexuality in US cinema and examines how several films from the 2000s, including Blockers, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, The Kissing Booth, and Alex Strangelove, take consent into account. Yet, at the same time, she reveals that teen films expose how affirmative consent (
yes means yes) fails to protect youth from unwanted and unpleasant sexual encounters. By highlighting ambiguous sexual interactions in teen films-such as girls' failure to obtain consent from boys, queer teens subjected to conversion therapy camps, and youth manipulated into sexual relationships with adults-the author unravels some of consent's intricacies rather than relying on oversimplification. By exposing affirmative consent in teen films as gendered, heteronormative, and cis-centered, this work suggests we must continue building a more inclusive consent framework that normalizes youth sexual desire and agency with all its complexities and ambivalences.