XXI. DEFINITIONS AND CONCEPTS
Coercion. Unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. When someone makes it clear that he or she does not want to engage in sexual activity or does not want to go beyond a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be considered coercive. The use of coercion can involve the use of pressure, manipulation, substances, and /or force. Ignoring objections of another person is a form of coercion.
Consent. Consent requires unambiguous communication and mutual agreement concerning the act in which the participants are engaging.
- A sexual interaction is considered consensual when individuals willingly and knowingly engage in the interaction.
- Someone who is incapacitated (by alcohol or drug use, unconsciousness, disability, or other forms of helplessness) cannot consent.
- Consent cannot be procured by the use of physical force, compulsion, threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion.
- Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationships or previous consent for sexual activity is not consent to sexual activity on a different occasion.
- Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another.
- Silence or the absence of resistance is not the same as consent.
- Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
- Previous consent does not mean ongoing consent. (For example, consent to certain acts at one point in an evening does not mean consent to the same acts later in the same evening.)
- How drugs and alcohol affect consent: Individuals should be aware of, and carefully consider, the potential consequences of the use of alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and other drugs can lower inhibitions and create an atmosphere of confusion over whether consent is freely and affirmatively given. If there is a question about whether someone consented to sexual activity after consuming drugs or alcohol, the University will examine the issue from the perspective of a reasonable person. Specifically, the University will consider whether the respondent reasonably should have known about the impact of alcohol and other drugs on the complainant’s ability to give consent.
- The use of alcohol or drugs does not justify or excuse behavior that constitutes gender-based misconduct.
- The use of alcohol or other drugs never makes someone at fault for experiencing gender-based misconduct.
Complainant. The person making the allegation(s) of gender-based misconduct.
Dating Violence. The use of physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, stalking, or other forms of emotional, sexual or economic abuse directed towards a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or sexually intimate nature with the victim. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Dating violence can be a single act or a pattern of behavior in relationships.
Domestic Violence. The use of physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, stalking, or other forms of emotional, sexual or economic abuse directed towards (a) a current or former spouse or intimate partner; (b) a person with whom one shares a child; or (c) anyone who is protected from the respondent’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Oklahoma. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Domestic violence can be a single act or a pattern of behavior in relationships.
Force. The use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to engage in sexual contact or intercourse. Force can also include threats, intimidation (implied threats), or coercion used to overcome resistance.
Gender-based Harassment. Acts of aggression, intimidation, stalking, or hostility based on gender or gender stereotyping constitutes gender-based harassment. Gender-based harassment can occur if students are harassed either for exhibiting what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic of their sex, or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity. To constitute harassment, the conduct must unreasonably interfere with an individual’s education or educational activities or create an intimidating, hostile, demeaning, or offensive academic or living environment.
Hostile Environment. A hostile environment may arise when unwelcome conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature affects a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational and/or living environment. A single, isolated incident of sexual or gender-based harassment may, based on the facts and circumstances, create a hostile environment.
Incapacitation. A state where a person cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because the person lacks the ability to understand his or her decision. A person can become incapacitated as a result of disability, involuntary physical constraint, sleep, or consumption of alcohol or other drugs.
Intimidation. Any threat of violence or other threatening behavior directed toward another person or group that reasonably leads the target(s) to fear for their physical well-being or to engage in sexual conduct for self-protection.
Sexual Assault—Non-Consensual Sexual Contact. Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object without a person’s consent. Intentional sexual contact includes contact with the breasts, buttocks, or groin, or touching another with any of these body parts; making another person touch any of these body parts; and any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner.
Sexual Assault—Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse. Any form of sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, or oral) with any object without consent. Intercourse means: vaginal or anal penetration (however slight) by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact).
Sexual Harassment. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education, or educational or campus life activities; or (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or student life decisions affecting that individual; or (iii) such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, demeaning, or offensive campus or living environment.
Sexual Exploitation. Non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other non-legitimate purpose. Examples of sexual exploitation include: observing another individual’s nudity or sexual activity or allowing another to observe nudity or sexual activity without the knowledge and consent of all participants; non-consensual streaming of images, photography, video, or audio recording of sexual activity or nudity, or distribution of such without the knowledge and consent of all participants; exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; and inducing incapacitation for the purpose of making another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity.
Stalking. A course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear or suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking involves repeated and continued harassment against the expressed wishes of another individual, which causes the targeted individual to feel emotional distress, including fear or apprehension. Stalking behaviors may include: pursuing or following; unwanted communication or contact -- including face-to-face, telephone calls, voice messages, electronic messages, web- based messages, text messages, unwanted gifts, etc.; trespassing; and surveillance or other types of observation.
Respondent. The person alleged to have committed gender-based misconduct.
Retaliation. Any adverse action, or attempted adverse action, against an individual (or group of individuals) because of their participation in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Policy, including individuals who file a third-person report. Retaliation can take many forms, including sustained abuse or violence, threats, and intimidation. Any individual or group of individuals, not just a respondent or complainant, can engage in retaliation.