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"It's important for us to shift our core focus away from targeting just sexual violence to thinking about consensual sex," Boyd said, "and shift from a strategy of saying, 'Here's the problem we must address,' to fostering ideals." That means no longer thinking about rape and assault as things that happen outside a normal sexual culture.
"That separation is not accurate -- it's not accurate to the experience of our students or to the research that we have in the field, and I also don't think it's terribly useful," Boyd said.
Respect and recognition, through which students recognize the realness of other people and understand they might make different decisions or want different things.
And mutual enthusiasm about sex, whereby the key question is no longer whether a student gives consent but whether he or she actually desires what's about to happen.
So, CCE hosts the "Screwlyweds game" outside the event, where couples get two minutes to learn everything about a given topic as it pertains to their date (say, books or movies). Besides keeping things lighthearted and group-focused, the activity encourages students to see their dates as real people, as opposed to just potential sex partners.
Uncertainties about whether anyone's expecting sex are inevitable.
Now in its second year, the CCE program is intensive and competition to get in is tough.
The students need to be capable because initiating a culture shift is far from easy.
Boyd shared several stories of students who grudgingly accepted sexual advances because it was "easier than not" or they "wanted to be a good girlfriend" or "didn't want to be the ones who refused" -- but still considered the sex consensual.
"By just figuring out whether it's consensual," Boyd said, "we're ignoring the realities of how this stuff happens." Making sure students know what sexual violence is and how to prevent it is of course critical on college campuses, said Boyd (whose own campus was recently fined 5,000 for by the U. Education Department for misreporting sexual offenses). But in doing so, she argued, many campuses are overlooking an equally if not more important step: proactively fostering a more positive sexual culture.