Cathy Young has an excellent column in Reason.com about a bill in California that would require universities in that state to use an “affirmative consent” standard for evaluating sexual assault complaints in the campus disciplinary system for complaints involving students. Two obvious questions arise: (1) Why just on campus? If this is a good idea, why not make it part the tort system? If that’s too drastic, let’s start, with say, members of the California legislature. For internal disciplinary purposes, their sexual activity should be governed by the same standard they want to impose on students. What plausible grounds could they have for rejecting application of a standard they would impose on students to themselves? (2) If we’re limiting things to campus, why just students? Why should students be judged under this standard, but not faculty and administrators? It’s hardly unheard of for professors, administrators, and even law school deans to engage in sexual relationships of dubious morality. The answer is that it’s not a good idea, and it’s a product of the current moral panic over the hookup culture.
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