With now literally hundreds of editorials and op-eds taking positions both pro and con on California’s SB 967 – as well as the broader issue of “affirmative consent” for sexual relations -- it is virtually certain that the California legislature will pass and send to Governor Brown’s desk SB 967 in the coming week. The bill is titled: “Student safety: sexual assault.”
Writing as a faculty member of more than four decades in four universities, it is tragically clear that this campus rape crusade bill presumes the veracity of accusers (a.k.a. "survivors") and likewise presumes the guilt of accused (virtually all men). This is nice for the accusers – both false accusers as well as true accusers -- but what about the due process rights of the accused?
Critically, and the reason why men are winning very substantial lawsuits against universities, is that the fact that the current campus rape crusade explicitly denies men fundamental due process rights such as the right to a lawyer, the right to cross-examine, and the right to evidentiary standards (clear and convincing evidence) appropriate to the consequences for the accused. Simultaneously, the campus rape crusade provides every conceivable aid and assistance to the accusers to prosecute the accused. This would be difficult to describe as “fair.”
If the ideologically tainted advocates in the administration, in Congress, and on campus continue this crusade against male students, it is possible that colleges and universities – as well as taxpayers -- will be spending more money on administering these laws and on lawsuit pay-outs than on instruction. Further, and as more and more men win due process denial lawsuits (this is a slam dunk because the denial of due process for the accused explicitly is written into the laws) the rate of such lawsuits will grow exponentially.
The solutions are to drop the fraudulent "1 in 5" campus rape claims of the administration, return to the definition of "Forcible Rape" (rather than "affirmative consent") for sexual assault, and prosecute crimes that are ranked second only to murder in the criminal justice system which is trained and designed to investigate and prosecute them.
Gordon E. Finley, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Florida International University. His faculty web site is: http://psychology.fiu.edu/faculty/gordon-finley/