In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear, knowing, and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity. In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age. In North Carolina, the legal age of consent is 16 years of age. Please be aware that MCC has minors on all campuses.
The North Carolina Statutes identify those who cannot consent and define “sexual act,” “sexual contact,” and “touching.” For more information please refer to statutes (§14-27.1) at the North Carolina General Assembly.
- Informed, clear, knowing and voluntary approval given by word or actions to engage in sexual activity;
- Active, not passive;
- An affirmative action or decision by all participants to engage in mutually acceptable sexual activity;
- Effectively communicating before and during any sexual activity about the limits of your sexual encounter.
Consent is not:
- Obtained by force, threats, or coercion;
- Automatic – even if there is prior relationship;
- Silent – lack of resistance does not imply consent;
- If consent was once obtained, it does not imply consent to future sexual acts or to any other forms of sexual activity;
- Obtained when the person is incapacitated due to a mental condition, drug or alcohol use, or is asleep or unconscious.
Alcohol and/or other drugs can place the capacity to consent in question. When alcohol and/or other drugs are being used, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent if they cannot fully understand the details of a sexual interaction (who, what, when, where, why, or how) because they lack the capacity to reasonably understand the situation. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing. This also covers a person of whose capacity to consent is altered due to mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from taking date rape drugs (Rohypnol, GHB, Ketamine, Burundanga, etc.).
Additionally, there is a difference between seduction and coercion. Coercing someone into sexual activity violates this policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into sex. Coercion happens when someone is pressured unreasonably for sex. When individuals make it clear that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
The sexual orientation and/or gender identity of individuals engaging in sexual activity is not relevant.
Please be aware that MCC has those who cannot consent, as defined by NC General Statutes, on all campuses, such as minors and persons with disabilities.
Remember: “No” means “No” and “Yes” may not always mean “Yes.” Anything but a clear, knowing, and voluntary consent to any sexual activity is equivalent to a “No.”