Robby Soave on the Wild and Crazy Summer of Criminalizing Campus Sex


Zenon Evans / Reason

Students returning to class this fall, consider yourselves warned: This was the summer that federal regulators, state lawmakers, and college administrators got together for a threesome—incidentally criminalizing campus sex in the process.

The debate over campus sexual assault—how much it happens, and how to handle it when it does—has been heating up for a while now thanks to increasing federal intervention, reports Robby Soave, but the latest round of action kicked off at the end of spring, when the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education identified 55 colleges under investigation for failing to report and handle rape allegations. The message to colleges from the federal government was do something, or else.

Caroline Kitchens, a senior research associate at the American Enterprise Institute who frequently writes about the travesty of campus sexual assault trials, told Reason that colleges, at the federal government's insistence, are codifying "a sexual double standard whereby all men are presumed rapists."

"In an effort to address sexual assault, college campuses are on the verge of entering into an Orwellian nightmare in which all sexual encounters are policed and students accused of misconduct are guilty until proven innocent," she said.