General Assembly Vote Tracker

SB78 – Teaching Consent in Sex Ed.

Senate Bill 78 requires that health education programs in Delaware public schools include instruction on what it means to “consent” in the context of a sexual encounter.

Good idea, since now that conservative men and women are now defending their own against sexual harassment and rape charges and ignoring the consent issue, it is likely their children are being raised thinking men can drink and sexually assault women at will with no consequences.

WHERE IS THE BILL? Senate Elections, Govt. & Community Affairs 4/18/19

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – Poore, Longhurst, Lockman, McBride, Paradee, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend, Baumbach, Chukwuocha, K.Johnson, Mitchell, Viola

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS –

YES VOTES – 

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21 comments on “SB78 – Teaching Consent in Sex Ed.

  1. pandora

    This is so important, especially when you consider we teach consent about everything else. It’s lack of teaching in sexual situations has always, imo, been deliberate. In fact, we’ve turned not having consent into some sort of game to get away with.

    Look at Robert Kraft’s situation. The man has a variety of options for sex. He has the money and means. Instead he ends up in a strip mall. Why? Because lack of consent was the turn on.

    • You lost me.

      • pandora

        Sorry. I was in a hurry. In society, non-consent is seen/portrayed as passion, while consent is viewed as a romance killer.

        My point about Kraft is this: The absence of consent is what took him to the strip mall. That was the draw. Not the sex.

        • What’s the difference between that and hiring a prostitute in Boston?

          • pandora

            Kraft is worth approx. 6.6 billion. What’s the appeal of going to a seedy massage parlor in a strip mall for sex? There are far more options available to him – Options that are more luxurious, private and safer.

            It would be like him heading to the street corner to buy drugs or guns. He wouldn’t do either of those things because his money makes it so he doesn’t have to access drugs/guns that way. He went to that massage parlor for a specific experience.

            From The New Yorker:

            “According to the Jupiter police, the price of an hour-long massage at Orchids of Asia was seventy-nine dollars; fifty-nine dollars would get you thirty minutes. Kraft is worth a reported $6.6 billion. It may seem surprising that a billionaire would have any interest in frequenting an establishment where, according to Martin County police, hygiene was “minimal.”

            […]

            Sometimes, these financial transactions have less to do with sex than they do with something that Kraft, certainly, knows well: power.

            Rarely are power asymmetries as stark as those that exist between a man of Kraft’s stature and wealth and the sex workers who toil at places like Orchids of Asia Day Spa. The investigation, which has been going on for months, found evidence that women were lured from China as part of an international human-trafficking ring. They were reportedly not given days off and were not allowed to leave the massage parlors, where they were forced to live, often in squalid conditions.”

  2. I agree that sex should be consensual, but why does the author assume that a man is OK with sexual assault just because he is conservative? That is broad statement to make, and a very shallow perspective.

    • pandora

      Name a conservative politician who speaks out about consent.

      Notice how there are no Republican sponsors on this bill? Why is that? Seems like making sure consent is there before having sex would be an easy thing to sign on to.

  3. The article didn’t say “politicians”, just men. But here’s a few Democratic Politicians that thought it was ok to sexually harass women, some of which were underage.

    Al Franken
    John Conyers
    Bob Filner
    Anthony D. Weiner
    Eliot Spitzer
    John Edward’s
    Bill Clinton

    Maybe we could.just call out men in general, because Liberal men are obviously not immune.

    • pandora

      So, you can’t name any conservative politicians.

      • Conservative politicians have nothing to do with the statement that was made.

        • They also have nothing to do with teaching consent in sex ed. As evidenced by the lack of any republican sponsors on this bill.

  4. Consent is one of those things that is difficult to explain, but many believe they know it when they see it. The problem is, there is no common, nor precise definition. Consent could be established by visual, verbal, or physical cues, all of which would be subject to interpretation.

    Rather than going through decades of legal and cultural conflict and changes, i would propose that the standard for consent is form signed by both (or whatever number of parties there are) and notarized by an authority who can attest to the soundness of mind and non-coercive nature of the consent. Even if two parties are married, formal consent would still be required, because being married does not imply consent. Also, consent must be given for each instance, because if someone consents one time, does not mean they consented for multiple instances.

    It’s extreme, but it really is the simplest method creating a common definition of consent, especially since one of the most common defenses for rape is that it was consensual. In keeping with the times (the 21st century) we can create an app where both parties can agree and have it witnessed/notarized in a manner like Teledoc where you have face to face contact with some notarization authority. The entire process would take less than 5 minutes.

    I propose the “Consent App ™” for Android and IOS. The app could even contain a hookup feature where you can connect to folks who want to hook up. This may sound like tongue in cheek, but I am semi-serious and I bet that apps like Tinder, Pure, Blendr, OKCupid, et al are thinking/working on something like this. Technology to the rescue!

    • Right after I posted this comment, went and googled (actually I Binged) this and lo and behold, UConsent: https://www.androidauthority.com/uconsent-hookup-app-860484/. It’s not a panacea. It doesn’t cover every case, but hey it’s a start.

      Of course, now I’m kinda bummed since i had a good idea that someone else thought of before me!

    • pandora

      If your thought process is “I should have this person sign a consent form and have it notarized before having sex with them” then you shouldn’t sleep with them.

      And consent is not difficult. We do it every flippin’ day with everything else. Obviously, we don’t only need to teach consent in school.

      And what would that app accomplish if, during sex, a person agreed to one thing, but not another, and their partner ignored them? This app is a rapist’s/sexual assaulter’s dream.

      • “And consent is not difficult. We do it every flippin’ day with everything else. ”

        And consent, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Ignoring sex, do I really need to point out daily examples of transactions where one party thought another party agreed to something, whether it is ordering a meal, buying a car, planting a garden, ad nauseam? indeed every aspect of daily life is rife with miscommunication of intent and agreement. There is a whole field of study (transactional analysis) because we humans are notoriously bad at communication with everyone. And sex is a transaction requiring communication.

        If you have never experienced it, you have been cloistered all your life. It is a daily occurrence in my life and I constantly struggle with trying to communicate better and if you are asserting that you never have any difficulty in communicating or in any transactions, then I can only shake my head, because you would be the most unique individual in the history of mankind.

        • pandora

          I never asserted that I ‘never have any difficulty in communicating or in any transactions’. You act like you get one shot at communication and if you eff it up then it’s over. That’s not how it works. We clarify if someone doesn’t understand. We engage in further conversation. We say no, that’s not what I mean. Do you go home with the wrong car or do you clear up the misunderstanding?

          I swear, some people seem to have a vested interest in pretending consent is difficult. Seriously, how about just talking with your partner during sex? (I just died typing that, because everyone should be communicating during sex.) And it bothers me that we’re traveling down the false rape accusation/women lie path.

          • You said “And consent is not difficult.”

            I disagree. It’s not impossible, but it is difficult because everyone has to have the same language, comprehension, and other characteristics. I used to work in the field of telecommunications and learned that transmitters and receivers had to be in sync or else the transmitter just sits there punching out crap without the receiver never noticing. It’s the same with people.

            So for communication (and transactions) to take place, you have to have both on the same wavelength, using the same language, with a common understanding of the words. And I won’t even delve into the research into intergender and intragender communication.

            Which, by the way, if I were to be involved in designing consent curriculum, one of the first learning objectives I would impose would be effective communication. A lot of conflict that has nothing to do with sex could be eliminated if we learn how to communicate better.

            • pandora

              Your problem would be solved by teaching consent.

              You are still acting as if consent has to consist of one sentence instead of an ongoing conversation.

              And consent is only difficult if you don’t care if your partner is with you every step of the way. It’s interesting how it seems to be mostly men who think consent is complicated – or, like Paul, think it’s a joke.

    • I think consent should be signaled by the couple, ménage a trois, etc, entering into synconized jumping jacks, 3 sets of 5. Then coupling may commence in complete assurance that the act is agreed upon.

      • cassandram

        So you should imagine yourself in jail facing a man who wants you to be his “girlfriend”. Bet you would NOT be relying on jumping jacks to signal you are not interested. Consent is pretty easy once you actually have a stake in it.

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