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Valid, informed consent for sexual activity:


* Valid, LEGAL consent is freely, mindfully, and actively given

* Uses mutually understandable words or actions

* Indicates a willingness to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity (in other words, 2 people agree to do the same thing, at the same time, in the same way, with each other).

What you should know about consent:

* At the heart of consent is the idea that every person, woman or man, has a right to personal sovereignty – not to be acted upon by someone else (especially in a sexual manner) unless given clear permission to do so.

* Consent may be broad or narrow, and can be limited. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not automatically imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.

* Consent may be given verbally or non-verbally, based on an active, informed, mindful, freely decided choice. Intoxication (drug or alcohol) makes this (legally) impossible.

* Consent means that you cannot make assumptions about what your partner does or does not want. Absence of clear signals is a sign to stop.

* The idea of consent eliminates the need to engage in force and resistance behaviors. There is no biological harm to males or females in stopping at any point during sexual behavior.

* No means no, but nothing also means no. Silence and passivity do not equal permission. SUBMISSION DOES NOT EQUAL CONSENT!

* If you receive a "no" and keep right on pressuring/continuing to interact sexually, your behavior is considered to be a coercive influence on the other party.

* To be valid, consent must be given BEFORE sexual activity. "After the fact" is not the time to discuss boundaries. Communicate!

A nonviolent, educated, peaceful community is a place where females and males are equally respected and no person’s body or character is violated. Respect means paying attention to verbal and non-verbal cues, desires, and boundaries. You are part of a larger community; your personal integrity and your connections with other people impact the whole.

Kansas State University Women’s Center ® 206 Holton Hall ®(785) 532-6444 http://www.k-state.edu/womenscenter


September 2005