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  • Approved for CNN

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    Posted October 8, 2013 by
    JamieUtt
    Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Raising America: How parents see the news

    Building Consent Culture in Young People

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Jamie Utt, a sexual violence prevention educator, says he wasn’t surprised by the recent “luring your rapebait” email from a Georgia Tech fraternity brother. In the letter, the student gave disturbing tips on how to lure women. “It was the kind of mentality that’s entirely too common, and not just on college campuses,” he said. But, Utt is hopeful that we can create a culture of positive consent and sexuality. Talking about consent has to start at a young age. He gives the example of giving grandma a kiss and a hug. Instead of kissing her, he tells them to ask grandma first. “Grandma, would you like me to give you a kiss?”

    As people reach college, the education would continue. “At the college level, there are ways college students can encourage a positive consent culture. Like with the parties they throw, if the music is too loud and people can’t hear each other, research has shown that more sexual violence happens at loud parties,” he said.
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    In thinking about the "Luring your Rapebait" email that went out from a Georgia Tech fraternity brother, it's important that we not simply marginalize the mentality in the email. Instead, we need to realize that this is a tremendously common mentality in party culture on college campuses.

    But it doesn't have to be this way! There are simple things we can do to build cultures of positive sexuality and consent!

    We can:
    - Teach young people how to ask for consent in fun and sexy ways!
    - Engage young men in building more positive masculinity.
    - Transform sex education to incorporate more messages about positive sexuality and healthy relationships
    - Teach young people simple things they can do to make parties more preventative of sexual violence.
    - Teach young men how to stand up to problematic sentiments like the one in the email.

    But we have to start early! Parents can begin by teaching consent from an early age, and we can engage young men in building more positive masculinity.
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