Forms of Sexual Misconduct

Yale’s Definition of Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct incorporates a range of behaviors including sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, voyeurism, and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual, or has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating, or coercing a person. 

Much sexual misconduct includes nonconsensual sexual contact, but this is not a necessary component. For example, threatening speech that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute sexual harassment will constitute sexual misconduct. Making photographs, video, or other visual or auditory recordings of a sexual nature of another person without consent constitutes sexual misconduct, even if the activity documented was consensual. Similarly, sharing such recordings or other sexually harassing electronic communications without consent is a form of sexual misconduct.  Both men and women are protected from sexual misconduct, and sexual misconduct is prohibited regardless of the sex of the harasser.

Violations of Yale’s Policy on Teacher-Student Consensual Relations and the Policy on Relationships between Staff Members are also forms of sexual misconduct.

Sexual violence refers to a specific constellation of crimes including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. The perpetrator may be a stranger, acquaintance, friend, family member, or intimate partner. Sexual violence takes many forms, which are often linked in individual experiences.