Will Legislating Consent Prevent Rape?

Will enshrining the definition of consent in law help victims of rape and sexual assault? Probably not. I’ve written a new guest post over at Cathy Reisenwitz‘s site, Sex and the State, exploring this concept as it relates to a new California bill. rape-650x372Excerpt below, and you can read the full post here!


Enshrining the definition of affirmative consent in law and mandating that colleges abide by it would provide a framework for prosecuting rapists, too many of which walk free. However, a law like this could make criminals out of those who are not, and it would not change the culture that’s at the root of sexual assault.

Hands up if you’ve had voluntary sex with someone without verbally agreeing to it. I have!

The problem with SB967 is that many partners rely on nonverbal cues to initiate sexual activity. I’ll concede that verbal consent is particularly important if you’re with a new partner, but I’ll be the first to admit my boyfriend and I very rarely obtain verbal consent before engaging in sexual activity. This law could make our actions worthy of prosecution.

You can read more at Sex and the State here.