has been dethroned as the school with the most tortured understanding of what constitutes sexual assault. While CCU’s blind insistence that all drunk sex—as well as insufficiently enthusiastic sex—is nonconsensual was admirably obtuse, University of California at Santa Barbara students have prevailed with an even weirder stated position on sexual assault.Coastal Carolina University
UCSB maintains a website, SexInfo Online, apparently curated by students. These students “have studied advanced topics in human sexuality,” according to the website—a depressing state of affairs, given how uninformed the website is. A webpage, “Different Types of Sexual Assault,” asserts that sexual assault is a “continuum” of behaviors so broad it is virtually certain that all women will be assaulted at some point—not just on campus, but everywhere. According to the website:
Sexual assault includes any unwanted sexual contact, be it verbal, visual, or physical. It is a continuum rather than a single type of behavior with a set definition. When one examines the sexual assault continuum, it can be assumed that every woman will experience some form of sexual assault. The following list contains the terms and definitions that make up the sexual assault continuum in alphabetical order. However, the sexual assault continuum is not necessarily limited to this list.
What kind of behaviors are part of the sexual assault continuum? Catcalling, which includes “whistling and shouting”; prostitution (even the voluntary kind, it seems); survival sex, defined as occurring “when a person exchanges sex for money, drugs, food, and/or shelter”; and a bunch of other things.
The webpage also notes that alcohol-facilitated sexual assault “occurs when the survivor is unable to give consent because he/she is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.” But merely being under the influence of drugs or alcohol does not automatically void consent, no matter how desperately activists at UCSB and CCU believe it to be so.
The website does not claim to reflect the university’s official position—I imagine administrators would deny they knew about it and take it down, if pressed. That’s what happened at the University of New Hampshire when critics—including me—pointed out the absurdity of the school’s Bias-Free Language Guide.
But it remains the case that this website is hosted at uscb.edu, and purports to educate students about sex and consent.
It’s not doing a very good job. Pretending that unwelcome whistling is a form of rape is insulting to women who are victims of actual violence, and asserting that all women will become victims at some point in their lives is irresponsible fearmongering.
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