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'Affirmative consent' becomes law on college campuses statewide




Sofia Schugar, left, Natalie Sharp, Lenox Peterson and Isabel Annino stop at the domestic violence awareness table at Occidental College to write phrases in support of sexual assault awareness on campus.
Sofia Schugar, left, Natalie Sharp, Lenox Peterson and Isabel Annino stop at the domestic violence awareness table at Occidental College to write phrases in support of sexual assault awareness on campus.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC

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The way California collegiates “hook up” was changed with the stroke of a pen this past September, the moment Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 967 into law.

Known widely as the “affirmative consent” bill, the new legislation requires all California colleges and universities to radically alter campus policies toward sexual activity. Effective as of yesterday, sexual encounters must be agreed upon explicitly by both parties, before any intimacy takes place. In short, anything short of “yes” means “no.” While the bill was met with resistance by parties who claimed the law was too rigid, most women’s groups (both on campus and off) see the law as a win, expressing hope that the change in policy will result in fewer sexual assaults on college campuses.

But as college acceptance letters begin showing up in mailboxes, thousands of parents are facing the same tricky question: “How do I talk to my college-bound student about consent?” Think of it as “the talk” 2.0.

A roundtable of child raising experts join Pat Morrison to tackle these tricky questions on sexual consent.

How do you speak to your college-bound teen about sex, in light of the new consent law? How are the responsibilities of boys and girls different? Can you teach empathy in one sitting, or does it take longer-term efforts to raise a considerate young man or woman?

Guests:

Michael Josephson, founder of the Josephson Institute of Ethics

Michael Thompson, Ph.D., child and family psychologist, NYT Bestselling Author and co-author of Raising Cain

Elizabeth Schroeder, Ph.D., sexual education expert