During an era when campuses nationwide are increasingly in the spotlight for a range of sexual assault infractions, Rothman proposes four groundbreaking thought experiments that challenge the status quo in campus-based prevention programming and call for us to do better. Namely, Rothman’s thought experiments—which suggest that campuses 1) invest in fighting structural oppression at the societal level, 2) direct their social norming work at the macro level, 3) educate preventionists in consent and pleasure related to kink, anal sex and group sex, and 4) enact education and counseling for sexual violence perpetrators—provide us with fresh opportunities to examine our willingness and capacity to change and to become even more impactful leaders in practices to reduce sexual violence. In the present editorial, I argue that for Rothman’s experiments (which are focused fundamentally on changing underlying power structures at the intersection of gender, race, sexuality, ability status and socioeconomic status) to be optimally effective, campuses must first engage intensively and systematically in anti-bias curricula to prepare us to be effective fighters for civil rights and human rights. Accordingly, we must be willing to acknowledge that biases exist in all of us, that biases operate in across environments to both privilege and disadvantage at the intersection of gender, race, sexuality, ability status and socioeconomic status, and that we must replace our biases with equity-focused actions for greater equity for all. I applaud Rothman in her outside-the-box thought experiments, join her in challenging us to do things differently on our nation’s campuses, and hope we have the courage to be leaders in anti-bias, civil rights and human rights practices to more impactfully reduce sexual violence against women and non-majority groups.
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- Rethinking Campus Sexual Assault: We must Be Leaders in Anti-Bias Practices, Civil Rights and Human Rights
- Springer US