In the wake of the findings of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) 2017 national report on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities, a number of universities have introduced mandatory courses on sexual consent for new students.
Of all students who participated in the AHRC inquiry, 26% experienced some form of sexual harassment in a university setting in 2016. Just over half had experienced sexual harassment at least once in the year prior to the survey.
The rise of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have put an unprecedented focus on the issue of what is acceptable sexual behaviour. An explosion of high-profile allegations in the Hollywood movie industry and in the Australian theatre scene have only added to the public scandal.
Of all the allegations of sexual misconduct swirling in Hollywood, the case involving Aziz Ansari is most divisive, because it centres on what constitutes consent. There is now pressure to move away from consent that can be implied or inferred, to a pure affirmation model, where only yes means yes.