II. A. Prohibited Conduct: Sexual Misconduct

II. A. Prohibited Conduct: Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Misconduct includes Sex-Based Harassment, Non-consensual Sex Acts, Non-consensual Sexual Touching, and Sexual Exploitation (each of which is defined below):

1. Sex-Based Harassment includes sexual harassment and gender-based harassment.

a. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; or other verbal or nonverbal conduct of a sexual nature, including non-consensual sex acts, non-consensual sexual touching,and sexual exploitation. In addition, depending on the facts, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking may also be forms of sexual harassment.  

b. Gender-based harassment is unwelcome conduct of a nonsexual nature based on an individual’s actual or perceived sex, including conduct based on gender identity, gender expression, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes.

c. Conduct is considered unwelcome if the victim did not request or invite it and considered the conduct to be undesirable or offensive. Unwelcome conduct can involve persons of the same or opposite sex.

d. Harassing conduct is verbal, written, or physical conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment. Examples of harassing conduct may include various types of unwelcome behavior, such as unwelcome: touching, sexually explicit offensive jokes, sexually degrading graphic, verbal or written comments or questions of a sexual nature; sexual innuendo, sexual threats, obscene gestures; inappropriate humor and jokes about gender specific traits or sexual orientation; sexual propositions; sexually suggestive or insulting sounds and actions, including, whistling, leering, and obscene gestures.

e. A Hostile Environment exists when Sex-Based Harassment is sufficiently severe or pervasive/persistent and patently offensive so that it alters the conditions of education or employment, from both a subjective (the alleged victim's) and an objective (reasonable person's) viewpoint. The determination of whether an environment is "hostile" must be based on all of the circumstances. These circumstances could include:

(1)         the frequency of the conduct;

(2)         the nature and severity of the conduct;

(3)         the identity and relationships of persons involved;

(4)         the location of the conduct and the context in which it occurred;

(5)         whether the conduct was physically threatening;

(6)         whether the conduct was humiliating;

(7)         the effect of the conduct on the alleged victim's mental or emotional state;

(8)         whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;

(9)         whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;

(10)     whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the alleged victim's educational or work performance; 

(11)     whether the statement is a mere utterance of an epithet which engenders offense in an employee or student, or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness:

(12)     whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom.

The more severe the sex-based harassment, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to find a hostile environment. Indeed, a single instance of sexual assault may be sufficient to create a hostile environment. Likewise, a series of incidents may be sufficient even if the sex-based harassment is not particularly severe.

Sex or gender-based actions which are offensive or inappropriate, but do not rise to the level of creating a hostile environment, can still be reported and, where appropriate, Central College will take remedial steps intended to end or prevent such actions in the future.

 f. Quid pro quo sexual harassment exists when there are:

(1) unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and

(2)  submission to or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action. 

2. Non-consensual Sex Act: A “sex act” (defined below) where “effective consent” (defined below) is not given by one of the participants.

3. Non-consensual Sexual Touching: Non-consensual “sexual touching” (defined below) where “effective consent” (defined below) is not given by one of the participants.

4. Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

a.  prostituting another person;

b.  recording images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness without that person’s consent;

c.  distributing images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness, if the individual distributing the images or audio knows or should have known that the person depicted in the images or audio did not consent to such disclosure and objects to such disclosure;

d.  viewing another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s consent, and for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire (Peeping Tommery).

e.  going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex)

f.  knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another individual intentionally; and

g. exposing one’s genitals to another when the exposing individual knows or should have known that the other person did not consent to such exposure and objects to such exposure; causing another to expose his/her genitals without that person’s effective consent.