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Public concerns result in changes to state legislation regarding consent

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Nevit Dilmen

As a new song begins, an unfamiliar hookup sparks as partners join together. Things progress as the song continues, bodies rub closer and closer, until the first chorus of “Talk Dirty to Me” starts.
She turns into him and things progressed even further. Not a word is spoken, just the beating rhythm of their hips locked together to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

While this method may provide sensations of euphoria, it can often lead to miscommunication and imminent legal action.

A recent law, SB 967, passed in California on Jan. 1, 2016, has changed the way sexual consent can be given and received between partners in order to make the world of sex a safer place without misunderstandings.

Prior to SB 967, the motto surrounding consent was “No Means No.” Today the motto has switched to a “Yes Means Yes” mentality, meaning that a partner must give and receive an affirmative response before engaging in sexual activity.

SB 967 defines sexual consent as “an affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity at every stage.”

This means that consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. It is the responsibility of each person involved to ensure that they have the affirmative consent from the other(s) involved in the relationship.

The standards for consent have become more transparent and explicit. Consent can not be assumed if the partner(s) have given consent in the past.

“It is a great idea because it adds another layer of consent that needs to be given before anything happens,”senior Paloma Prudhomme said.

Furthermore, sexual consent cannot be given through text, email, or any other social media platform. It cannot be granted if someone is asleep, unconscious, passed out, or incapacitated.

Along with changing sexual consent in today’s society, SB 967 has also changed the way colleges deal with issues of sex on their campuses. This law makes an affirmative response the standard at all California public colleges.

Preventative education during student orientation, increased access to counseling resources, and training for adjudication panels are part of SB 967’s mandates.

Senior Liam Jay has concerns about consent not only in the real world, but on our campus.
“In the world there is a problem with sexual consent. We are lucky enough here to be educated about this kind of stuff. However, I still think that at Drake people have problems forgetting common sense and common decency and taking things too far,” Jay said.

With the highly anticipated dances approaching, Winter Formal and Prom, consent is now more relevant to students than ever before. The most important aspect of SB 967 is that consent is necessary at all stages of sexual relations, not just sexual intercourse.

This means that when on the dance floor at Prom or out with friends on the weekend, make sure to think twice and analyze the situation before engaging in sexual activity. As long as both parties are comfortable and willing, nothing should stand in the way of having a good time with a significant other.

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The Student News Site of Sir Francis Drake High School
Public concerns result in changes to state legislation regarding consent