I know that I just addressed the topic of consent very recently, but today I found an article published in The Washington Post that detailed the results of a survey conducted across 27 of our nation’s top schools, that totaled responses from more than 150,000 students.
Overall, at these schools the average rate of sexual assault for college age women is 23%. But the responses weren’t just limited to female students. There were percentages of male students who were assaulted at virtually every school as well.
The long last effects that sexual assault can have on a person are well known and documented. I cannot say that we can eliminate 100% of rapes or assaults, but taking the time to teach or our children, and educate ourselves, about what consent is and means should be far more important than it appears to be.
Once the results of the survey were released many of the colleges in the survey pledged to continue educating their students and staff and taking measures to prevent sexual assault on their campuses and that is a step in the right direction. We cannot however, rely on the schools to teach these young adults something that should have been taught to them as part of regular sexual education that often starts as early as elementary school.
Of course, that opens a whole different can of worms if you start looking at abstinence only education and how sex should be reserved for marriage. Change the focus to real education, including the matter of consent and how important it is. That’s the only way to end the constant barrage of sexual assault that young women and men face on their college campuses.
Teach them that consent is not only necessary and wanted, but also sexy.