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Senate bill would require sex consent education

BES Photos / flickr

A state lawmaker wants to make sure consent is taught as part of sex education classes.

State Senator Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing) has sponsored a bill to make that a requirement. He says testimony last year from college and university officials outlined different ways the current system does not prepare high school students for living away from home. 

“And the number one thing they’re not prepared for is education about consent and that it’s the heart of solving our cultural issues on sexual assault.”

A Kaiser Foundation-Washington Post survey from four years ago found confusion and wide disagreement among college students about what counts as consent.

At least one study shows the likelihood of sexual assault is even higher among young adults who don’t go to college.

Hertel says students need to learn about sexual assault and consent before they graduate from high school and go to college.

“College students are most likely to experience sexual assault within their first six months on campus,” says Hertel. “One-fourth of college women and one out of every 20 college men will be a survivor of sexual assault while they are on our college campuses.”

Hertel’s bill says the required training would include telling teens that not resisting a sexual advance does not count as consent, and assault includes inappropriate touching.

Four other states have adopted similar laws. Governor Whitmer supports the bills.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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