Definition of Sexual Misconduct - Comprises a broad range of unwelcome behaviors focused on Sex and/or gender that may or may not be sexual in nature.
- Any intercourse or other intentional sexual touching or activity without the other person’s Consent is Sexual Assault, and is a form of Sexual Misconduct under this Policy.
- Sexual Misconduct encompasses Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, or Gender-based Harassment, which is a form of Harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, or non-conformity with gender stereotypes.
- Sexual Misconduct may also encompass acts of a sexual nature, including acts of Sexual Stalking, Domestic Violence, and Dating Violence, intimidation, or for Retaliation following an incident where alleged Sexual Misconduct or has occurred.
- Sexual Misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, or people who know each other well, including between people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship, can be committed by anyone regardless of gender identity, and can occur between people of the same or different sex or gender.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact - Non-consensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman that is without consent and/or by force. The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” must be based on all of the circumstances. These circumstances could include:
- the frequency of the conduct;
- the nature and severity of the conduct;
- whether the conduct was physically threatening;
- whether the conduct was humiliating;
- the effect of the conduct on the alleged victim’s mental or emotional state;
- whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;
- whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
- whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the alleged victim’s educational or work performance;
- whether the statement is a mere utterance of an epithet which engenders offense in an employee or student, or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness
- whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom or the 1st Amendment.
Sexual Contact Includes - Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse - Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is any sexual intercourse however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or a woman that is without consent and/or by force. Intercourse includes: vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
Sexual Exploitation - Sexual exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
- Invasion of sexual privacy;
- prostituting another student;
- non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
- going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
- engaging in voyeurism;
- knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student;
- Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
- Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.
Consent - Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.
- Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
- Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.
In 2016, the State of California recently a law (Senate Bill 967), known as the Yes Means Yes law, requiring both parties who are engaging in sexual activity to give an on-going consent. Here are links to videos that will help frame the context to his law about affirmative consent:
Force - Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you. Okay, don’t hit me. I’ll do what you want.”)
Coercion - Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
- Cases will be investigated regardless of whether the accuser resisted the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent. The presence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.
- In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age (18 years or older).
- Sexual activity with someone who one should know to be -- or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be -- mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), constitutes a violation.
Incapacitation - Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction).