College sex may require formal consent

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Students may need to brush up on the law before the pivotal third date. (Getty Images)
Students may need to brush up on the law before the pivotal third date. (Getty Images)

Students may need to brush up on the law before the pivotal third date. (Getty Images)

College is the place where, for the first time, a lot of people start making their own rules.

Fortunately for those planning to have sex in college, lawmakers are willing to help out with some new guidelines.

A proposal in California would require state colleges to establish an “affirmative consent” standard for students wishing to get physical.

In English, that means students need to get formal written or verbal permission from their sex partner prior to sex.

Maybe universities will provide a handy form that can be folded and kept in a wallet or purse. Or maybe nowadays it should be stored in “the Cloud” somewhere. Keeping some things in your wallet tends to ruin them.

The law is quite detailed, and puts the onus of consent on the “initiator” of sex, which is usually the woman, in my experience.

Consent would need to be obtained prior to each sexual event, according to my reading of the law, which states “the existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.”

Hmmmm … sorta takes away the spontaneity of what tends to be a spontaneous joy, but I can understand the lawmakers’ thinking. Campus sexual assaults have spiked and the federal government alleges at least 55 campuses (including Emory) have poorly handled sexual assault and harassment complaints.

Is a new law the answer? Establishing new “campus policy” doesn’t seem to have same deterrent effect as a lengthy sexual assault prison sentence, but I guess anything helps.

Now what should that form look like? Maybe just an app that registers the time, date and fingerprints of the sexually interested parties?

Excuse me while I go visit the patent office.

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