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Gettysburg College Joins Antioch College:

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education reports on the Gettysburg College Sexual Misconduct Policy, which says:

Sexual Misconduct is defined as a threat of a sexual nature or deliberate physical contact of a sexual nature without the other person's consent. Examples of such behavior include, but are not limited to, 1) deliberate or reckless threat, actual or implied; 2) physical contact of a lewd type such as brushing, touching, grabbing, pinching, patting, hugging, and kissing; 3) physical contact of a sexual nature that results in reasonable apprehension of a sexual assault or physical harm; and 4) coerced sexual activities, including rape.

All sexual interaction between any two people must be consensual. Each individual has a responsibility to obtain consent before engaging in sexual interaction. Consent is defined as the act of willingly and verbally agreeing (for example, by stating "yes") to engage in specific sexual conduct....

So verbal agreement is required before any "sexual interaction," presumably including lovers (or spouses) of long standing. What's more, if "sexual interaction" refers back to "deliberate physical contact of a sexual nature" (as it seems to), then you'd need a verbal agreement before any "touching," "hugging," or "kissing" that is "of a lewd type."

The requirement of consent is of course completely proper -- but the requirement of verbal agreement strikes me as vastly overbroad, given the way perfectly decent and consenting adults routinely behave.

By the way, Antioch College still has its infamous policy, which says that "Consent is defined as the act of willingly and verbally agreeing to engage in specific sexual conduct.... Consent is required each and every time there is sexual activity." Do you verbally agree to have sex each time you have consensual sex with your spouse or lover?

By the way, the Antioch policy also says that

The SOPP is violated whenever there is an incident of non-consensual sexual conduct on the Antioch College campus, during an Antioch College sanctioned event, or between two Antioch College students regardless of location. This may include but is not limited to:

* Sexually based gestures ...
* Sexually based forms of non-consensual communication, whether verbal, written, electronic, or telecommunication based ...

So "non-consensual" "sexually based gestures" are prohibited. So are "sexually based forms of non-consensual communication," which leads to the question: How can you ask someone for permission to engage in sexual activity, before you've gotten their consent? Wouldn't the request, at least if it's express enough to yield an adequate consent to the activity (remember that "All parties must have a clear and accurate understanding of the sexual activity" for the consent to take place), itself be a "sexually based form[] of non-consensual communication"? Or do you need to ask first, "Do I have your consent to clearly and accurately describe to you the sexual activity to which I will then ask you to consent?"?

There's no doubt that nonconsensual sex is a serious problem. It's just that these codes aren't, it seems to me, a serious solution.

Rational Actor (mail):
"If I were to ask you if you wanted to have consensual sex with me, would you receive such inquiry favorably or report me to the authorities?"

Does this code limit the music that one can choose to play in the presence of others? There's some pretty strong sexual content in that rock and roll music.
5.11.2006 4:42pm
Hans Bader (mail):
These idiotic rules at Antioch actually are enforced.

When I was an attorney at CIR, a young man who touched his girlfriend was expelled for touching her without advance verbal permission. (Since it's a private college, the constitution didn't apply, and there was nothing we could do for him.)

Of course, if he'd asked her politely, merely asking her might have been constituted "unwelcome verbal conduct of a sexual nature."

Defenders of Antioch point out that in practice, couples at Antioch often ask AFTERWARDS, saying, "does this feel good, etc."?

Which is silly of them, since that is a violation of the plain text of the rule, which requires permission BEFORE even fairly innocuous touching between a couple even if they have previously been intimate for a long time.

So all the politically-correct Antioch College males who defend its policy are actually guilty of violating it, and could be expelled at any time should their girlfriends so choose for doing what women and men do all the time (i.e., touching without express verbal permission).

(And if the rule were enforced in a gender-neutral way, the girlfriends could be expelled, too).

If males actually followed the rules all the time, they would creep out women. Many women don't like to be told explicitly verbally what kind of sexual activity they'll be engaging in, viewing it as crass to be so explicit.

And few women want to be expressly asked by their boyfriends whether they'd like to be kissed. They'd rather their boyfriends just go ahead and kiss them without asking.

Express verbal haggling is something you expect between a prostitute and a john, not a couple in a relationship. It's as creepy and crude as it is politically correct.
5.11.2006 4:46pm
Houston Lawyer:
I seem to recall that the comedians had a lot of fun coming up with scripts for dates under this rule. I assume that it should now be acceptable to tape and/or film every sexual encounter to provide evidence of consent. Speak clearly into the mike dear.
5.11.2006 4:58pm
Anthony A (mail):
So verbal agreement is required before any "sexual interaction," presumably including lovers (or spouses) of long standing.

Without Antioch College's particular stupidity of requiring verbal consent each time, one can reasonably assume that existing sexual relationships have a blanket verbal agreement for various sorts of sexual activity, with occasional exceptions disallowing certain activities temporarily ("not tonight dear").
5.11.2006 5:07pm
JosephSlater (mail):
It would be interesting to know how many men have been disciplined under this rule in a way that would strike most folks as unfair.
5.11.2006 5:09pm
Hans Bader (mail):
If it were adopted by a public college, these policies would potentially violate the constitional freedom of intimate association, certain as applied to married couples, and possibly also as to couples who are already dating.

Marital privacy is clearly protected by the constitution, and some courts have held that dating is protecting by the constitutional freedom of intimate association. See, e.g., Wilson v. Taylor, 733 F.3d 1539 (11th Cir. 1984) (dating is protected by intimate association); Louisiana Literary and Debating Ass'n v. New Orleans, 42 F.3d 1483 (5th Cir. 1994) (membership in small truly private club is protected by intimate association against overbroad antidiscrimination ordinance).

Explicit verbal consent is not the same thing as consent. Every day we consent to things nonverbally. The government should not interfere in consensual relationships by declaring typical nonverbal indications of consent inoperative.

My wife would be creeped out if I asked her in advance before hugging or kissing her, and she would resent having to ask me. Certainly, she has never asked before doing it.

My guess is that these rules are enforced in the main the way the sodomy laws often used to be enforced: by one vindictive ex-partner using them to attack the other ex-partner for perfectly consensual conduct.

The fact that something was consensual at the time doesn't keep you from using it as a weapon later.
5.11.2006 5:17pm
Rational Actor (mail):
Actually, this could just be a clever way to increase compliance with all those virginity pledges.
5.11.2006 5:18pm
Curious Gentleman:
While I agree that the Antioch code is a bit stilted and overboard in practice, I also believe that the evil it is intended to prevent exists. Interesting that all of the comments appear to be from men. Any women care to share their perspective?
5.11.2006 6:23pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

While I agree that the Antioch code is a bit stilted and overboard in practice, I also believe that the evil it is intended to prevent exists.
There's no question in my mind that the evil exists. Here's the problem: what used to be a vulgar sort of approach that most guys knew was not okay has become pretty common. Now, when I was young, most guys knew that there were limits to how one approached a young lady if the goal was passion and (eventually) sex. But it seems that this has largely evaporated away.

My son-in-law tells me that at a number of fraternities at the University of Idaho, the members keep a whiteboard where everyone reports on which girls they've had sex with, and the object is to see how many different girls you can score. At least when I was that age, it would have been considered vulgar to boast about having sex with a particular girl. Not to say that there wasn't some locker room boasting in high school, but everyone knew that wasn't okay.

My daughter's roommate went out on a first date, and when the inevitable came up (why would any guy expect to wait for a second or a third date for sex?), my daughter's roommate said, "I'm having my period." His response was to ask to sodomize her instead. He didn't have a clue as to why she got upset.

Raising guys on porn, I think, may have influenced their perception of women. Or am I just a fossil now?
5.11.2006 6:31pm
HLSbertarian (mail):
Clayton said: "My daughter's roommate went out on a first date, and when the inevitable came up (why would any guy expect to wait for a second or a third date for sex?), my daughter's roommate said, "I'm having my period." His response was to ask to sodomize her instead. He didn't have a clue as to why she got upset."

It sounds like the young man complied with Antioch's policy pretty well. What does your lament about this generation's casual and forward approach to consensual sex have to do with your first sentence ("the evil exists")? Are you saying that being more willing to ask correlates to being less willing to take no for an answer?
5.11.2006 7:05pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Are you saying that being more willing to ask correlates to being less willing to take no for an answer?
I'm saying that many young men have expectations are more fit for porn than the real world. It isn't surprising that there are a lot of guys who assume that they can take liberties with a young woman far too early in a relationship, and thus makes these sort of policies seem like good ideas. The whole notion of having to get approval at each step of the process sounds like robotic sex--or if Mr. and Mrs. Conehead were going at (but without the rings).
5.11.2006 7:12pm
hey (mail):
The only times that I have ever had any sort of verbal consent have been... exceptionally interesting situations where the intent on the part of the speaking party was especially prurient and vulgar. This also tends to occur during activity, rather than at the start of things, although when it does happen at the start it communicates a particularly lascivious intent and few hours.

I believe the specific description of this is "talking dirty". It's hilarious that one has to be exceptionally graphic and depraved simply to follow a sexual harrassment handbook. Although this would seem to lead to more interesting activities at the institutions where it applies.
5.11.2006 8:09pm
Chris Lansdown (mail) (www):
If a couple has sex without verbal consent, then which of them is guilty, since neither obtained verbal consent? Or should they both just be charged?
5.11.2006 8:20pm
Chris Lansdown (mail) (www):
Also, I presume that under this regime a person has the right to change their mind after initially giving consent. Is the onus on the person who wants consent to periodically determine whether the previous consent is still valid, or is it the responsibility of the person who removes consent to give notice?
5.11.2006 8:23pm
HLSbertarian (mail):
If a couple has sex without verbal consent, then which of them is guilty...?

Whichever one doesn't get bitter first. As long as that's the man.
5.11.2006 9:07pm
PersonFromPorlock:
What kind of love-life can an Antioch student who is mute or has a speech impediment expect? Doesn't this policy violate the ADA on its face? :^)
5.11.2006 9:21pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
These are only two examples of a more general trend in college sexual harrasment policies. Many universities, both private and public create sexual harrasment codes far more strict than they would ever reasonably enforce as a way of avoiding bad PR. In reality these codes are designed to ensure that after some scandal or activity the public deems unacceptable they can point to the code and discipline the people involved so they don't get bad PR and can avoid legal liability.

While not so absurd let me give you an example from Berkeley's recently revised code of conduct (covering GSIs as well as actual professors) bans any form of sexual relationship between a teacher or GSI and someone they have authority over of could reasonably expect to have authority over. The problem with this code (among other things) is that a grad student may be assigned to TA virtually any course in a department so the code would seem to ban them dating virtually any undergraduate and since undergraduates are sometimes employed as TAs it would seem some of the results can be even more absurd.

Of course one could imagine that the university would interpret such a code reasonably and accept the fact that occasionally relationships would develop and then an individual in that relationship might be assigned to their s.o.'s class. Yet the fact that the university offers no procedures (at least none that are told to TAs like the above info is) to deal with these situations proves that their concern is not with eliminating sexual harrasment or power inequalities but in taking the moral high ground whenever something goes wrong.

Any code which was truly designed to eliminate sexual harrasment would acknowledge real life facts about relationships. By giving no means by which a TA (or a prof) could request someone else grad their s.o.'s papers without risking getting in trouble for not having forseen they would teach their s.o. the policy actually encourages TA's grade their s.o.'s work but keep it secret so they don't get in trouble.

In short these sexual harrasment codes are much like affirmitive action policies adopted by universities. Little thought or research is put into figuring out if these codes really will reduce the problem (sexual harrasment/minority achievment) because they are really intended to let the university take the moral high ground not to solve any problems.

I'm unsure if these are more motivated by PR or legal concerns maybe someone else knows.
5.12.2006 1:09am
Lev:

The SOPP is violated whenever there is an incident of non-consensual sexual conduct on the Antioch College campus, during an Antioch College sanctioned event, or between two Antioch College students regardless of location. This may include but is not limited to:

* Sexually based gestures ...


Does this mean that at Antioch one must get the permission of the person to be offended/insulted before one is allowed to give them the middle finger?
5.12.2006 1:49am
mls (mail):
OK, you wanted to hear from a woman -- here goes!

Why are we so much more willing to HAVE sex than to talk about having sex??? What precisely is WRONG with asking permission before sticking parts of your body in mine?!

The complaint seems to be "it's creepy and unromantic." So? Ideas of what is romantic are constantly changing -- in romance novels in the 70s &80s there was never any mention of birth control -- too creepy and unromantic! By the 90s, the sex scenes almost ALWAYS involved a condom -- how romantic that he CARES enough to protect you! See? Is it really creepy and unromantic to say, "I'd really like to have sex with you, if that's what you want, too"?

The creepy-and-unromantic argument seems strongest when it applies to already-sexual relationships. But that presumes that such relationships never change, either. Just because she had sex with you last week -- yesterday -- this morning -- 10 minutes ago -- doesn't necessarily mean she wants to have sex with you again. Do I have to list all the reasons why? (I haven't shaved my legs, I feel fat, I'm wearing unsexy underwear, you didn't bring me flowers, I didn't enjoy it last time, it's Lent and I promised I wouldn't . . . .). What's wrong with requiring a quick and oh-so-charming "Wanna do it?" before sex?

Admittedly, VERBAL agreement sounds pretty extreme for descendants of puritans. We'd have to actually admit that we intended to have sex! And sure, it seems that in most cases nonverbal cues would be enough. But do you know how often men misunderstand NON-VERBAL cues that women are throwing out there? After all, no means yes, a hand pressed to your chest to keep you away means try harder, and struggle means persuade me, right?

I'm not saying all men are clueless -- but an awful lot of them are. The question is simply one of who should have to assume the risk. Up 'til now, SHE has always assumed the risk, since the legal presumption has been that all women are consenting to sex all the time, unless she DOES something affirmatively to withdraw that consent (and that something might be earnest resistance, resistance to the utmost, or reasonable resistance, depending on the jurisdiction}. The Antioch-type codes are simply reversing the presuption. And reversing the presumption is infinitely more protective of women.

Of course, it might be overly protective. Women have been taught the double standard quite well, and might get less sex than they want under the Antioch-type codes because of their unwillingness to seem too forward. So be it. I've frequently said that if a woman says no when she means yes, the man should teach her a lesson -- walk away! Don't let her have what she wants!
5.12.2006 3:11am
Hans Bader (mail):
My observation that women don't like being explicitly asked about whether or not to be kissed or hugged in advance wasn't based on conjecture. It was based on what I was told by women.

For example, a (female) Wellesley College student, years ago, expressed her dismay at the sort of embarrassing discussions the Antioch College policy would result in. She raised the subject, not me (although we have been discussing the larger topic of political correctness on campus, although not with a gender focus). (Nor did she like the idea of being asked with clinical precision what sex act she would like to engage in).

The idea also strikes my wife as bizarre.

In the whole history of the world, there has probably never been a woman who always asked for permission before kissing or hugging. Given that fact, there is no reason other than discrimination to require men to explicitly ask for permission, either.

The problem is that the many women who don't want to be explicitly asked are also not inclined to explicitly discuss this fact publicly, either.

By contrast, the smaller number of ideologues who do support requiring that a couple verbally haggle in advance of every touch are not inhibited about publicly advocating their extreme position.

The above commenter seemingly argues in favor of the Antioch/Gettysburg explicit authorization requirement even while acknowledging that

"it might be overly protective. Women . . . might get less sex than they want under the Antioch-type codes because of their unwillingness to seem too forward. So be it. I've frequently said that if a woman says no when she means yes, the man should teach her a lesson -- walk away! Don't let her have what she wants!"

That strikes me as being very paternalistic.

Preventing somebody from hugging or kissing, or having a sex life, because they refuse to engage in politically-correct dialogues before touching, strikes me as a gross invasion of their privacy.
5.12.2006 12:09pm
dk:
It sounds like a step toward the anti-sex league in Orwell's 1984.

On the other hand, the lads at U. Idaho, who appear to be the live models for Tom Wolfe's St. Whatsisface fraternity, make the policy not unreasonable. Certainly the boys of my era (a LONG time ago) were no less horny than the current lot, but by comparison we could easily have been mistaken for gentlemen.
5.12.2006 1:19pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Years ago, starting for some reason with the Kennedy nephew's rape trial (this is the one who was doctor in Florida), there was an energetic debate over whether a woman has the right to say no. Absurd. Of course she does. She has the right to insist that her "no" govern.

Problem was that a number of people piped up that "no" doesn't always mean "no". Somebody who reads romance novels so I don't have to--and see Sommers in "Who Stole Feminism" on the subject--claims they all include a near-rape, just to get started. And when the alpha male's tamed some, sales tank. Romance novels are, what, a billion dollar business? Or is it two billion? Unlike a bottle of whiskey, which costs less than some of these tomes, the romance novel can be used over and over. Got to mean something because it sure can't mean nothing.

A C&W singer back then withdrew a song whose theme was, apparently, a real man wouldn't take no for an answer, he'd take the risk and reap a reward. If he was a man. The interesting thing is not that the song was withdrawn. Given the climate, that followed. What was interesting was the entertainment professionals wrote, produced, performed, and distributed the thing on the informed and professional assumption--which means probably right--that it would resonate with some of their audience.
Someplace, they thought, is a woman who is thinking, "I didn't mean for him to go away. I just hadn't made up my mind." Someplace, they thought, a guy is thinking, "Her sister told me she liked me better. But she said no, so I didn't keep asking. Bob kept pestering her. They got married and had a kid four months later. Now they have two more. What does she think of me? Does she think I'm inadequate? Should I have....?"

There's lots of room for guys to misunderstand, lots of ambiguity in this particular aspect of human relations.
5.12.2006 1:19pm
mls (mail):
"Preventing somebody from hugging or kissing, or having a sex life, because they refuse to engage in politically-correct dialogues before touching, strikes me as a gross invasion of their privacy."

Unlike, say, the invasion of privacy involved in unwanted sexual intrusion by someone who mistakenly thought they had consent?!

Again, it's a question of assumption of the risk. Society is willing to place the risk of unwanted sex on women rather than on men. And yes, some women are comfortable with that status quo. ANY change is threatening, including changes in sexual mores that say sexual discussions are not "haggling," are not more whore-than-madonna, are not creepy and unromantic.

We've changed sexual mores about whether sexual activity is acceptable outside of marriage. Because sex outside of marriage is now the norm rather than the exception, we've changed expectations about whether sex will happen in any given dating relationship. Because of that, we've greatly increased the possibility of mistake. Why is it politically-correct in the pejorative sense to say MAKE SURE you have consent before proceeding? If the cost of avoiding the discussion is less consensual sex, does that cost outweigh the benefit of less nonconsensual sex?

We're retaining our '50s mentality about sexual discussions, while insisting on a "modern" attitude about having sex. Having it both ways isn't working. If a social attitude that insists on explicit verbal consent isn't the solution, what do you propose?
5.12.2006 1:32pm
ajf (mail) (www):

My daughter's roommate went out on a first date, and when the inevitable came up (why would any guy expect to wait for a second or a third date for sex?), my daughter's roommate said, "I'm having my period." His response was to ask to sodomize her instead. He didn't have a clue as to why she got upset.


i don't have a clue as to why she got upset, either. "i'm having my period" doesn't seem like an answer to the question "wanna have sex?"

but re: antioch. it's a private school. it can do what it wants. and if students don't like it, they can a) go elsewhere; b) try to change the policy; c) stop engaging in sexual contact; or maybe d) draw up blanket waivers to be signed by potential sex partners.
5.12.2006 2:15pm
Hans Bader (mail):
The idea that the Antioch or Gettysburg policies make any substantial contribution to preventing unwanted touching by people who mistakenly believe they have consent is just silly. They have no safety justification at all.

I've never asked my wife explicitly in advance before hugging or kissing her, and yet she's always been happy to hug and kiss me back. She has never asked me for permission to hug or kiss me either. There has never been any risk of harm.

Only people who are bargaining at arms' length -- such as hookers and johns -- explicitly discuss everything in advance.

If you seek explicit consent from your partner before any demonstration of affection, it's because the two of you don't like or trust each other, and don't really know anything about each other.

But if I were a student at Antioch, she and I would have had to ask each other such questions literally thousands of times, depriving our relationship of any spontaneity.

mls says that,

"We've changed sexual mores about whether sexual activity is acceptable outside of marriage. Because sex outside of marriage is now the norm rather than the exception, we've changed expectations about whether sex will happen in any given dating relationship. Because of that, we've greatly increased the possibility of mistake. Why is it politically-correct in the pejorative sense to say MAKE SURE you have consent before proceeding? If the cost of avoiding the discussion is less consensual sex, does that cost outweigh the benefit of less nonconsensual sex?"

Well, mls, sex outside marriage certainly isn't (and hasn't been) the norm for me.

The fact that some imprudent people may be interested in having sexual encounters with virtual strangers whose preferences regarding sex (or even kissing and hugging) they know virtually little about, hardly means that I and my wife, who know each other's preferences extremely well (and don't regard a hug or kiss as a risk to be guarded against), should be forced to engage, in a daily basis, in a completely-useless, time-consuming, and invasive, ritual of explicitly discussing hugging, kissing, and the specifics of love-making in advance?

That serves absolutely no purpose. But if we attended Gettysburg or Antioch College, we would have to do just that.

And why does mls assume that it is only women who bear the risk of mistaken or unwanted touching? I've never engaged in unwanted touching of a woman's intimate areas. But I've had it happen to me, on rare occasions. That assumption is a rather dubious gender stereotype.

In any event, rapes are typically not the product of a mistake, but rather, deliberate violence. A conniving rapist can always claim he had verbal consent of the most explicit sort. So an explicit verbal consent requirement prevents no rapes.
5.12.2006 3:05pm
mls (mail):
Hans Bader describes an idealized relationship where there can be no mistake about sex. Not all sex happens in this relationship, even if he thinks it should.

And marriage is no guarantee -- I had a student stand up during a criminal law class discussion of rape and say, "So you're suggesting that if I was having sex with me wife and she said, "Stop, it hurts," and I didn't, that I'd be guilty of rape?"

My reaction (which I did not verbalize!) was, "So you're saying that you'd have sex with a woman you love enough to marry and not care whether it hurt her?!"
5.12.2006 3:31pm
Hans Bader (mail):
Forcing someone to keep having sex after they say, "stop, it hurts," can be prohibited without taking the extreme step of requiring explicit verbal permission prior to sex, which serves no purpose in this context.

For example, California law doesn't require verbal consent for sex, but Justice Chin, writing for the California Supreme Court, nevertheless held that it constitutes rape when a woman is forced to continue having sex despite protests that it stop.

So requiring explicit verbal permission isn't necessary to provide a remedy for such abuse.

Nor does requiring verbal consent before sex even address the rare situation where it is necessary for sex to stop after it is initiated.

Most sex takes place either between married couples, couples who are living together, or couples who have been dating for a while.

They know each other's preferences, and do not need to explicitly haggle before having sex (much less before engaging in spontaneous acts of affection, such as kisses and hugs, as the Antioch and Gettysburg policies would prevent absent prior discussion).

Only someone who doesn't want to have sex, but is doing it for mercenary reasons (like a prostitute bargaining with a john), would habitually need to discuss every kind of contact or sex in advance.
5.12.2006 5:00pm
mls (mail):
"Most sex takes place either between married couples, couples who are living together, or couples who have been dating for a while."

I would be interested in your source for this statement, as well as your statement that "rapes are typically not the product of a mistake, but rather, deliberate violence."

Where is the empirical research on these topics?
5.12.2006 6:03pm
Hans Bader (mail):
My statements about the pointlessness of the Antioch and Gettysburg college rules are rooted in both in an empirical basis and common sense.

The General Social Survey shows that most Americans have only a handful of sexual partners in their whole life (even though people typically have sex over a thousand times in their lives).

That means, on the average, hundreds of sexual acts per partner, rather than a succession of one-night stands.

And obviously, a person is going to have more sex during a multi-year marriage (hundreds or thousands of times) than during a one-night stand (a handful of times at most per night).

Thus, partners in any given sexual encounter will typically know each other well, and won't need a lot of detailed discussion before having sex.

That reduces the likelihood of mistaken penetration, even assuming it were mechanically probable (it isn't) that one person would end up penetrating the other without the other being aware of what is about to transpire and nonverbally indicating consent.

(And even on a one-night stand, it would be pretty obvious without verbal discussion that your partner, who has already been intimate with you, won't mind being hugged or kissed).
5.12.2006 6:50pm
megan reynolds (mail):
So, I was just visiting the blog to read analysis of the NSA program but I'm a female Antioch alum so I guess I have to respond to this thread. I was at the college in the mid-90s when the policy had just been adopted. What you may or may not know is that the policy was adopted because there were two or three sexual assaults on campus in the early 90s that were not handled well by the administration. There was no written policy and students stepped in to write one.

The definition of consent is as you have all been saying but common sense still prevailed in hearing any complaints under the policy. The policy allows for due process and a consent defense would still be analyzed under something like a totality of the circumstances test, which would include prior sexual history, etc... By the way, Antioch is probably the queerest campus in America so there were, and probably still are, as many gay and lesbian sexual encounters reached by the policy as heterosexual so some of your gender commentary is off or irrelevant.

The basic thing that people always miss about the policy is that it is a set of operational definitions of community standards and is used to educate young people in a very, very sexually charged environment about how not to hurt each other. Students haven't acted to change or abandon the policy because it has not, to my knowledge, been used in any of the abusive ways that so many people have imagined it could or would. If you visit Antioch any day of the week you will see that it is not a sexually inhibited place. The men aren't suffering from having confident female sexual partners or from having received education on how not to push unwanted sexual attention on a woman. And as I said, change all the gender labels around in that last sentence and the same still applies.

How about you all use as much common sense in analyzing the policy as Antioch students have done in living under it for more than a decade?
5.12.2006 9:18pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Megan. A policy in force, even if few bother with it, can be used--surprise--as a matter of revenge, manipulation, or some other motive having nothing to do with sex.

It exists as a machine whose actions will kick in when somebody hits the button.

Common sense is not referenced in the policy, right?

Additionally, the concern is not merely for Antioch, but for any kind of micro-managing of human relations. See my post--there are more examples--of ambiguity in this field.
5.15.2006 1:08am