News Comment

Saturday 3 December 2016

Sarah Carey: Sexual regret isn't the same as assault

Students' Unions have called for mandatory sexual-consent classes. Sarah Carey asks why they're needed

Published 21/02/2016 | 02:30

BACK OFF: What changed so that the current generation of women don’t know how to say no?
BACK OFF: What changed so that the current generation of women don’t know how to say no?

You'd think the sheer predictability of moral panic around sex and middle-class kids would have tripped some alarm in newsrooms. When reports surfaced that 200 male Agricultural Science students in UCD were swapping photographs of naked women in a secret online forum, a skeptic might think to check before publishing. Alas, no. Inserting the word "alleged" into the text seemed easier. Thus the story was taken out of UCD's student-run college paper and into the mainstream media.

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The scandal was given extra legs when UCD's Students' Union, following the lead set by their counterparts at Trinity College, announced it was calling on college authorities to fund mandatory sexual consent classes.

The original story seemed dubious to me, and as for mandatory sexual-consent classes - that's the kind of fascist initiative that would have sparked protests by students in my day.

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