Courses on sexual consent not the answer

Students at the National University of Singapore have started taking a compulsory module on Respect and Consent Culture either online or at a 90-minute workshop.
Students at the National University of Singapore have started taking a compulsory module on Respect and Consent Culture either online or at a 90-minute workshop.ST ILLUSTRATION: CEL GULAPA

I was perplexed by the news that the three universities will be rolling out courses to educate undergraduates on sexual consent and respect on campus (Courses at unis to educate students on sexual consent; Aug 25).

My first thought was: How would an additional module help students develop the right attitude and thinking about correct sexual conduct?

As a student, all I was concerned with was how to get the highest possible score on my modules. I was not concerned about the modules which had no effect on my overall grades.

From the perspective of an employer who is looking at the transcript of a graduate who has taken this module, the transcript only shows that this student did complete the course.

It gives no inkling of how much the student understands about sexual misconduct or how he would react if placed in a sexually-compromising situation.

A carefully-curated module about sexual conduct can only do so much, but it cannot capture all the nuances that would surface in a sexual scenario.

The complexities and vagueness of sexual nuances should be properly addressed through dialogue, question-and-answer sessions, effective communication or advice-giving platforms.

Such avenues should be led by a more informed and mature faculty staff member or senior student leader and even the school management.

University students are on the brink of entering the working world where there are also professional nuances to read and interpret aside from those sexual in nature.

It is critical that the universities exercise more proactiveness in this area to prevent their graduates from landing themselves in hot water at their workplaces just because they are unable to understand respect and consent.

Amanda Jane Yap