Sexual Misconduct and Related Terms

Acts of sexual misconduct and relationship violence may be committed by men against women, women against men, men against men, and women against women regardless of actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation. The issue in any case is not the gender of the persons involved but the acts.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault refers to any sexual penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object, or sexual intercourse by a man or woman upon a man or woman without consent. Sexual penetration includes vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct refers to any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object by a man or woman upon a man or woman without consent. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, genitals, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner. Sexual misconduct also includes any disrobing of another or exposure to another by a man or woman without affirmative consent.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation refers to a situation in which a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another, and situations in which the conduct does not fall within the definitions of sexual assault or sexual misconduct. Sanctions for sexual exploitation can vary greatly depending on the severity of the violation. Severe cases can involve suspension or expulsion. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual voyeurism (such as watching a person undressing, using the bathroom or engaged in sexual acts without the consent of the person observed).
  • Taking pictures or video or audio recording another in a sexual act, or in any other private activity without the consent of all involved in the activity, or exceeding the boundaries of consent (such as allowing another person to hide in a closet and observe sexual activity, or disseminating sexual pictures without the photographed person’s consent).
  • Prostitution (such as selling or exchanging sexual acts for money or something else of value or benefit).
  • Engaging in sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and without informing the other person of the infection.
  • Administering drugs (such as “date rape” drugs) to another person without his or her knowledge or affirmative consent.

Sexual and Gender Discrimination

Sexual and gender discrimination includes all forms of sexual and gender harassment and/or sexual and gender violence by employees, students, or third parties against employees, students, or third parties.


Acts or attempts to retaliate or seek retribution against the complainant, respondent, or any individual or group of individuals involved in the complaint, investigation and/or resolution of an allegation of sexual misconduct. Retaliation can be committed by any individual or group of individuals, not just a respondent or complainant. Retaliation can take many forms, including threats, intimidation, pressuring, continued abuse, violence or other forms of harm to others