We hear a lot of talk about “rape culture” in the media. And American universities, where allegations of rape are rampant, are trying very hard to define consensual sex, making laws that would both reduce rape and make it clear when consensual sex has occurred:
Defining consensual sex is a growing trend by universities in an effort to do more to protect victims. From the University of California system to Yale, schools have been adopting standards to distinguish when consent was given for a sexual activity and when it was not.
Legislation passed by California’s state Senate in May and coming before the Assembly this month would require all schools that receive public funds for student financial assistance to set a so-called “affirmative consent standard” that could be used in investigating and adjudicating sexual assault allegations. That would be defined as “an affirmative, unambiguous and conscious decision” by each party to engage in sexual activity.
Silence or lack of resistance does not constitute consent. The legislation says it’s also not consent if the person is drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep.
The fact that this is even a widespread problem indicates how broken the American perspective on sexual activity really is. Universities have long been a place for young people to sow their wild oats and experiment with sex. This sexualized collegiate culture has naturally produced a host of problems, not the least of which is the rise of rape culture.
Many university campuses across the country have run afoul of the law in the past for apparently creating environments conducive to rape, especially in frat houses. But defining rape in such narrow terms is sure to increase allegations without necessarily reducing rape. If it is true that as many as 1 in 4 sexual encounters on college campuses could be defined as rape under the new definitions of consensual sex, the problem becomes much larger than just trying to protect vulnerable people from sexual coercion.
Our culture is sex-obsessed. Consensual sex is very difficult to define inside such an environment. Is bondage, rough sex, and all the other forms of what used to be called sexual deviancy healthy or unhealthy? The new definitions of consensual sex would call those things unacceptable. Is that prudish, or just prudent?
It really doesn’t matter. There was a time when our culture expected that people should experience sex inside the safety of marriage. But even marital sexuality is no haven of safety within the new definitions. “Marital rape” has also become a buzz phrase among the so-called champions of rape victims. And rather than reducing rape victims, the new environment has just created additional victims—victims of slander and false accusation.
I’m against rape, obviously. But the problem, at its heart, is that you can’t have it both ways. You can’t preach promiscuity, sexual freedom, and sexual experimentation on one hand and then expect that such an emphasis on the “healthiness” of sexual expression (in all its forms) will not yield its logical results.
Leftists are hilariously illogical sometimes. “Do what you want, kids. Nothing is off-limits. We don’t judge.” We teach kids that rubbish from elementary school. And then when that philosophy has its natural results—in all sorts of sexual deviancy—we try to reign things in. It just doesn’t work that way. You want to put an end to rape? Stop preaching promiscuity as healthy. Preach virtue instead. Because until you do, rape culture will continue to be a problem. No matter how narrowly you define consensual sex.