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Affirmative Consent


For students:

Using blank index cards or an anonymous online survey format, answer the following questions. Do not include your name or any personal identifying details:


•There’s a lot of conversation on college campuses about sexual consent. When it comes down to it, how are you expressing — and hearing — consent?


•How do you personally know when you’ve expressed sexual consent to someone else?


•How do you personally know when you’ve received sexual consent from someone else?

For faculty:

•Facilitate open dialogue about questions and comments that emerge from the anonymous responses.


•What themes, issues, and concerns bubble to the surface?


Will Saying Yes to Affirmative Consent Curb Campus Sexual Assault?

•“Will Saying Yes to Affirmative Consent Curb Campus Sexual Assault?” is a PBS debate featuring two experts on the issues: Jaclyn Friedman, is co-editor of “Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and World Without Rape.” Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.


•Current laws require that you cannot have sex with somebody who has not consented.

•Proponents of “yes means yes” argue that in adjudicating sexual assault cases, active consent should be the standard rather than having to prove that someone said no to sex.


•Opponents of “yes means yes” as a legal standard for adjudicating sexual assault case argue that this framework erodes the assumption of innocent until proven guilty, which is a foundation of democracy’s principle of due process.


•In 2014, former California Governor Jerry Brown signed the nation’s first affirmative-consent standard into law. California law requires that state universities apply an affirmative consent standard to campus judicial board decisions about sexual assault and Title IX. The state’s criminal statutes define sexual assault more narrowly.

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