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Posted by Sharon Yuen

On October 1st, 2015, California became the first state to have mandatory sexual consent lessons in high schools. California has also headed another ‘first’ when it required colleges and universities to adopt the affirmative consent policy during campus sexual assault investigations. As Republican Rocky Chavez has stated, “California must continue to lead the nation in educating our young people – both women and men – about the importance of respect and maintaining healthy peer and dating relationships”.

The newly mandated law states that health courses require lecture on affirmative consent and sexual violence prevention for graduation requirements. Personally as a student from SFUSD, this is a huge milestone for the education system. At my high school health is indeed required for graduation, but you can take it during any of your four years at high school. This is a downfall because freshmen year is the prime time where hormones activate. Not providing a student the proper health education on domestic violence, sexual consent, or sexual reproduction during a vital time results in vast numbers of youth not realizing that “no does not mean yes” and that there are resources out there in case of unexpected pregnancy or a need for birth control methods. This new addition to health classes will provide a more wholesome education to youth and also attempt to reverse the harmful ideas that media puts into our minds – that rape is a joke and that no means yes and no means you’re a prude.

In conclusion, it is noteworthy that although this law is a grand step in the right direction, society itself needs to reform expectations of males and females and how it defines what a male should to in order to show power. I cannot wait to see how school districts implement the new curriculum into their health classrooms.