Title IX - Preventing Sex Discrimination

What is Consent?


Consent means an informed, affirmative, conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.  When consent is ignored, it’s sexual assault.

Consent must be voluntary

  • Consent must be given without coercion, force, threats, or intimidation.
  • Consent requires positive cooperation in a particular sexual act, or expression of intent to engage in that sexual act through the exercise of free will.
  • Being intoxicated by drugs or alcohol does not diminish a person's responsibility to obtain consent from the other party before engaging in sexual activity.

There must always be mutual and affirmative consent to engage in the sexual activity

  • A request to use a condom or birth control does not, in and of itself, mean consent.
  • Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent; silence does not mean consent.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity (or one sexual act) does not mean consent to other forms of sexual activity (or other sexual acts).
  • Consent to sexual activity given on one occasion does not mean consent to sexual activity on another occasion.
  • The fact that two people are or were in a dating or sexual relationship does not mean consent to engage in sexual activity.

Consent can be withdrawn or revoked at any time, including after penetration

  • Once consent is withdrawn or revoked, the sexual activity must stop immediately.

Consent cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated

  • A person is incapacitated if s/he lacks the physical and/or mental ability to make informed, rational judgments.
    • A person cannot give consent if s/he is unconscious or coming in and out of consciousness, is asleep, and/or is experiencing blackouts.
    • A person with a medical or mental disability may lack the capacity to give consent.
    • A minor cannot give consent.

For additional information about consent please see Systemwide Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation, Sexual Misconduct, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking against Students and Systemwide Procedure for Addressing Such Complaints by Students
Executive Order 1097(opens in new window) pages 3 and 4.