Suzanne B. Goldberg

Is There Really a Sex Bureaucracy?

This essay identifies several features of the higher-education context that can enrich The Sex Bureaucracy’s account of why colleges and universities have adopted new policies and trainings to address sexual assault on their campuses.  These features include: 1) schools’ preexisting systems for addressing student conduct; 2) the shared interest of schools in reducing impediments to education, including nonconsensual sexual contact; and 3) the pedagogical challenges of developing trainings that are engaging and effective. Taking these three factors into account, we can see that while federal Title IX intervention has had a profound effect, it is also important not to overstate law’s ability to shape culture and interpersonal interactions and, instead, to recognize the confluence of factors that have generated and will continue to support change.

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