Could you pass this consent quiz?
EARLIER this year, Australian universities adopted a mandatory online module explaining sex and consent.
The module, designed by UK-based course developer Epigeum, includes a series of quizzes exploring what constitutes appropriate sexual conduct.
Students must get 100 per cent on each quiz in order to complete the module and receive their marks for the semester.
The module, seen by news.com.au, poses a range of scenarios, including whether the involved party is able to consent if they've had a lot to drink, the age of sexual consent in each Australian state, and the difference between "active" and "passive" bystanders.
All in all, it's estimated to take an hour to complete.
Daily Telegraph chief of staff Yoni Bashan - who signed up to a university course last year - slammed the module and compared it to an RTA driving course-style exam.
"This bloated series of 'modules' and '101s' and condescending quizzes, all styled like an RTA driving exam, are so horrible and irritating that I suspect the purpose is to actually cock-block participants from ever having sex with each other," he wrote on Sunday.
"I know all this because I signed up to university last year and now have to quest through endless flow charts and stock images and slippery legal dross just to get my assignment results."
But Bashan is not the only one who has taken issue with it.
In an earlier piece for news.com.au, End Rape On Campus Australia ambassador Nina Funnell said the course had been slammed by teachers, academics and sexual assault experts as "tokenistic", suggesting it "won't produce any meaningful change".
"Already students and experts have told the university's senior management that if they genuinely want to prevent sexual assault on campus, a cheap 'tick the box' online course is not a good way to go," she wrote in January, when the module first launched.
"There is also very little evidence to suggest that an online module will be effective in shifting attitudes or behaviours."
HOW DOES THE MODULE WORK?
The module is divided into four key sections, including "Thinking about consent", "Communication skills and relationships", "Looking out for others" and "Support".
Each module uses a series of videos, cartoons and infographics to explain different aspects of sexual consent, including appropriate and inappropriate means of consent.
For example, there's a cartoon of a couple, in which one member is trying to work out whether or not it's acceptable to wake the other with oral sex.
In another example, a slide lays out dot points for "Verbal" and "Physical" consent, emphasising the need to pause during sexual encounters.
In the verbal category, for example, it advises: "Pause to ask how it feels. Remember to pause both before and during sex: 'Does this feel good?' 'Can I touch you here?' 'Do you like this?' "Do you want me to go slowly/gently/faster/harder?'"
On the physical side, it says: "Our bodies can respond in unexpected ways (remember the example of a man getting an erection and a woman's nipples becoming hard without consent).
"The best way to know for certain whether you have the green light is to ask for consent verbally, even if someone seems physically into it."
The quiz also polls students, asking them to rate how "Comfortable "or "Uncomfortable" they feel when discussing how far they want to go with a sexual partner.
It frequently reminds students that if they are triggered by the material, or experience distress, they do not have to take the test.
Students seeking to complete the module have to get 100 per cent on every test in order to pass. Some of the questions require specific answers; if you're instructed to select "multiple" correct answers for a question, and you miss one, you might end up with a 4.67 out of 5 - a fail mark.
So, just how tough are the quizzes? Here's the question Bashan got stuck on:
If you ticked the second, third or fourth boxes, you'd be wrong. The first one is correct.
Here's another sample question:
To pass, you would have to select every box minus the third option. Missing any of the other boxes would result in a Fail mark.
Another question asks for the "most accurate definition of consent":
Conversations around consent, sexual assault and violence against women have gained ground in the wake of the #MeToo campaign.
More recently, the rape and murder of 22-year-old Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon sparked a backlash, in part due to the police response of telling women to modify their behaviour.
Last year a study by the Australian Human Rights Commission found that college students (those living on campus) were around seven times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted at the university, compared to non-college students.