“Let’s Talk About Sex”: Legislating and Educating on the Affirmative Consent Standard
Humphrey, Wendy Adele
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This article begins by briefly examining the relevant legislation and White House administration to provide context for the evolution of the yes means yes affirmative consent standard. The article then focuses on the yes means yes standard, recognizing that although the large majority of colleges and universities are not required to adopt an affirmative consent policy, many have done so on their own initiative. Additionally, the article looks at both state and federal legislation that has mandated or may mandate schools to adopt an affirmative consent standard. Finally, the article presents logical, compelling reasons why affirmative consent education before college is necessary to combat the problem of sexual assault. The argument is made that based on research and on the existing educational framework in most states, high schools should be required to include instruction about the affirmative consent standard. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for addressing the problem of sexual assault on college campuses, requiring evidence based awareness and prevention education during high school about affirmative consent is one tool to help young people start thinking differently about sexual violence.