Freitag, Mai 08, 2015

Task Force gegen sexuelle Gewalt befindet: "Zuviele Dinge zählen an der Universität Kansas als Vergewaltigung"

Students at the University of Kansas may soon be able to play "sexually suggestive music" without running afoul of the school’s harassment code.

The Sexual Assault Task Force, convened last fall by Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, released 27 recommendations Friday for revising policies around sexual violence, included the "suggestive" tweak.

(...) The Kansas task force also acknowledges the vagueness in defining coercion as "unreasonable pressure for sexual access" because it does not distinguish between "coercive" versus "non-coercive sexual conduct."

Fans of voyeurism and dorm-made porn could get a reprieve as well. The task force recommends dropping these "objectionable" practices as examples of assault: "capturing or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds or images of another person" and "allowing third parties to observe sexual acts."

Finally, the task force suggests narrowing what qualifies as harassment. Currently the university defines stalking as "a course of conduct directed at a specific person that is unwelcome and would cause a reasonable person to feel fear," which the task force calls "very broad."

Even basic flirting could be perceived as sexual harassment under the university’s current definitions.

The Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access uses the word "unwelcome" several times to describe prohibited behavior: One of those is "unwelcome efforts to develop a romantic or sexual relationship" or "unwelcome physical touching or closeness."

Under such broad definitions, simply asking someone out more than once or standing close to someone could be considered sexual harassment.

(...) Several other vague examples of harassment in university materials escaped the attention of the task force.

The Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access implies that even talking about sex – such as an intended partner’s sexual history or a friend’s sexual orientation – could be a form of harassment, since sharing "lewd jokes" or "sexual anecdotes" are given as examples.

This warning runs counter to the student health center website, which links to a sexual-health website targeting college students that recommends students ask about an intended partner’s sexual history.

The office also appears to make routine gossip punishable: "Distributing intimate or sexual information about another person" qualifies as harassment, even if it’s discussing last night’s hookup with a friend.

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