Assent vs. Consent- They’re not one and the same!


Assent vs Consent– Don’t lie to get laid! 

Permission is a form of assent. But consent has a different meaning in the eyes of the law. And that distinction makes tricking someone into sex a crime.

By law, consent, not assent, must be present in sexual relations, as stated clearly in the ItsOnUs Pledge, supported by President Obama; “Non-consensual sex is sexual assault.” Assenting, not consenting to sex, simply doesn’t cut it!

What’s the difference between assent and consent?

The University of Alaska, Fairbanks, points out that such a difference exists in its description of the legal requirements when conducting ethical research on minors:

“Work with children or adults not capable of giving consent requires the consent of the parent or legal guardian and the assent of the subject.”

From this description, we can easily deduce that assent and consent don’t carry the same weight. Even though the explanation is given to facilitate a purpose not related to sexual intercourse, it is clear that there is a legal distinction between assent and consent. And this distinction is at the heart of why sexual assault by fraud is a crime. Just because you nod your head and provide permission to something, does not mean you were fully informed, and being fully informed of the action AND the actor is absolutely essential to qualify as consent. In sexual assault by fraud, the offender knows they have deprived you of the information you need in order to make an informed decision. They have deliberately clouded your judgement with their lies.

Assenting to an action means agreeing, but when that agreement was induced by fraud, the person is unknowing, therefore, not consenting. Having sex with you, without your fully informed consent, robs you of your self determination over your reproductive organs. Sex by treachery is sexual assault.


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