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Although many colleges across the United States have incorporated some form of sexual consent policy into their code of conduct, these definitions vary by region and institution. Moreover, previous studies have found that although students may be aware of their university’s consent policy, it may not always be used in practice (Gronert & Raclaw, 2019; Ortiz, 2019). This study compares four samples of respondents by region (i.e. Northeast and South), assigning a regionally-typical consent policy to the sample and then analyzing the differences in sexual consent understanding and behaviors. We hypothesized that students’ internalized definitions of consent will differ both from their regionally-stated policy and from each other in significant ways. Data was collected from participants through an online national survey that asked questions regarding students’ definitions of consent and how they knew that their previous partners had given them consent. These responses were then analyzed to examine what themes exist between students’ perceptions of consent and their assigned regional policy. Implications for the utility of university consent policy upon student consensual behavior is discussed.



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Sexual Consent: Do you get it? How college students' definitions of consent differ from their region's consent policy