Definitions

Definitions

These terms appear as they are defined in The Ohio State University's Sexual Misconduct Policy 1.15

Term

Definition

Sex- and gender-based discrimination

Unfairly treating an individual or group of individuals differently than others on the basis of sex or gender.  Sexual misconduct is a form of sex- and gender-based discrimination.

Sexual misconduct

Conduct of a sexual nature or conduct based on sex or gender that is nonconsensual or has the effect of threatening, intimidating, or coercing a person. Includes sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking.  Sexual misconduct is a form of sex- and gender-based discrimination.

Sexual harassment

In the employment context, sexual harassment is unwelcome, sex- or gender-based verbal or physical conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. 

In the education context, sexual harassment is unwelcome, sex- or gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with, denies, or limits an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational programs and activities.

It can take two forms: power differentials (quid pro quo) or hostile environment:

  1. Quid pro quosexual harassment exists when:
    1. There are unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and
    2. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic status; or
    3. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions adversely affecting such individual.
  2. Hostile environment in the employment context includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Hostile environment in the education contextincludes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that limits, interferes with, or denies educational benefits or opportunities, from both a subjective (the complainant’s) and an objective (reasonable person’s) viewpoint.
    1. The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” is based on a totality of circumstances. These circumstances may include:
      1. The degree to which the conduct interfered with the complainant’s educational or work performance;
      2. The type, frequency, and duration of the conduct;
      3. The identity of and relationship between the accused and the complainant(s);
      4. The number of individuals involved;
      5. The age and sex of the accused and the complainant(s);
      6. The location of the incident(s) and the context in which it occurred;
      7. The nature and severity of the conduct;
      8. Whether the conduct was physically threatening;
      9. Whether the conduct was humiliating;
      10. The effect of the conduct on the complainant’s mental or emotional state;
      11. Whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
      12. Whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom or the first amendment.
      13. A single or isolated incident of sexual harassment (e.g., rape) may be severe enough to create a hostile environment.

All such acts of sexual harassment are forms of sexual misconduct under this policy.

Sexual violence

Sexual acts perpetrated against an individual’s will or when an individual is incapable of giving consent.

All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual misconduct under this policy.

Sexual assault

Non-consensual sexual contact and non-consensual sexual intercourse.

All such acts of sexual assault are forms of sexual violence, and therefore sexual misconduct, under this policy.

Non-consensual sexual contact

Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any body part or object, by any individual upon another that is without consent and/or by force or coercion.

Sexual contact includes: intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts or object, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth, or other orifice.

All such acts of non-consensual sexual contact are forms of sexual assault, and therefore sexual misconduct, under this policy.

Non-consensual sexual intercourse

Any sexual penetration, however slight, with any body part or object, by any individual upon another that is without consent and/or by force or coercion.

Sexual penetration includes: vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact); no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

All such acts of non-consensual sexual intercourse are forms of sexual assault, and therefore sexual misconduct, under this policy.

Sexual exploitation

Occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for that individual’s own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the individual being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual violence offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, and are not limited to:

  1. Engaging in voyeurism;
  2. Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
  3. Going beyond the boundaries of consent (e.g., letting others hide in a closet to watch you having consensual sex);
  4. Invasion of sexual privacy;
  5. Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) to another;
  6. Non-consensual pictures, video-, or audio-recording of sexual activity;
  7. Possession, use, and/or distribution of alcohol or other drug (e.g., Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc.) for the purpose of engaging in or facilitating any activity prohibited under this policy;
  8. Prostituting another.

All such acts of sexual exploitation are forms of sexual violence, and therefore sexual misconduct, under this policy.

Relationship violence

Dating violence and domestic violence.

All such acts of relationship violence are forms of sexual misconduct under this policy.

Domestic violence

Conduct that would meet the definition of a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by the complainant’s current or former spouse or intimate partner, a person with whom the complainant shares a child in common, a person who is or has cohabitated with the complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, or individual similarly situated to a spouse under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under the domestic or family violence law of the jurisdiction in which the offense occurred. An individual need not be charged with or convicted of a criminal offense to be found responsible for domestic violence pursuant to this policy.

Dating violence

Violence or threat of violence by an individual who has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant. Whether there was such relationship will be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length and type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction of the persons involved in the relationship.

Stalking

A course of conduct directed at a specific individual that would cause a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the complainant to fear for her, his, or others’ safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. A course of conduct includes two or more acts, including but not limited to, those in which the alleged perpetrator directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about the complainant, or interferes with the complainant’s property.

Consent

Permission that is clear, knowing, voluntary, and expressed prior to engaging in and during an act. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.

  1. Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
  2. Consent may be withdrawn at any time.
  3. Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts; this includes “blanket” consent (i.e., permission in advance for any/all actions at a later time/place).
  4. Consent cannot be given by an individual who one knows to be – or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be – substantially impaired (e.g., by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness, or blackout, etc.).
    1. Substantial impairment is a state when an individual cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because she/he lacks the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how” of their sexual interaction).
    2. This also covers individuals whose substantial impairment results from other physical or mental conditions including mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the consumption of alcohol or other drugs.
    3. Being impaired by alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense for any behavior that violates this policy.
    4. An individual cannot consent who has been coerced, including being compelled by force, threat of force, or deception; who is unaware that the act is being committed; or who is coerced by a supervisory or disciplinary authority.

Title IX coordinator

The designated university official with primary responsibility for coordinating the university’s compliance with Title IX. This individual provides leadership for Title IX activities; offers consultation, education, and training; and helps to ensure that the university responds appropriately, effectively, and equitably to all Title IX issues.

Deputy coordinator

Individual responsible for supporting the Title IX coordinator and accessible to any community member for consultation and guidance. A deputy coordinator is housed in the Offices of Human Resources, Athletics, and Student Life. The deputy coordinators in Offices of Human Resources and Student Life oversee investigative functions; the deputy coordinator in Athletics does not.

University community

Faculty, staff, students, student employees, graduate associates, appointees, volunteers, supplier/contractor, and visitors.

Appointees

An individual deemed to have an affiliation with the university in a non-compensatory capacity as designated in the applicable Human Resources Information System.