Consent on Campus: A Manifesto

Oxford Univ. Sept. 2018. 248p. notes. index. ISBN 9780190671150. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9780190671174. ED
Researcher and educator Freitas (Ctr. for Religion and Society at Notre Dame; Sex and the Soul) distills her case for consent culture in a slim volume aimed at campus administration and faculty. The author provides a brief overview of the campus climate around student sexuality, focusing on the recent use of Title IX to address sexual assault. The book also explores student experiences of sex on campus, in particular "hooking up," or casual sex that's often devoid of emotional attachment. Freitas suggests rewriting the narrative to value the well-being of one's sexual partner. She almost exclusively looks at four-year residential schools, and her assertion that "we've become afraid of attaching meaning to sex" will likely be met with some skepticism. Her emphasis on dominant, normative sexual scripts means student dissenters—those forging other ways of being sexual, either by preference or necessity—remain frustratingly absent.
VERDICT Its shortcomings aside, this book will likely prove a fruitful tool for group reading, reflection, assessment, and action.

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