A Day for Denim and Sexual Citizenship

Quick Summary

  • April 28: Concluding events of Sexual Assault Awareness Month
  • Center for Advocacy, Resources and Education wants to see you in denim
  • 5-6 p.m.: Join a discussion with the authors of Sexual Citizens
Teal graphic: Back pocket of denima pants, with Sexual Assault Awareness Month ribbon on the pocket

We wore teal to start Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and now comes Denim Day, Wednesday (April 28), a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence. The day also will feature a discussion with the authors of Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power and Assault on Campus.

The Center for Advocacy, Resources and Education, or CARE, encourages people to post Denim Day photos to social media, using the hashtag #ucdavisdenimday. Tag @ucdcare to be featured in CAREs Instagram Denim Day story. (Note: Set your Instagram to public or send your pictures by direct message.)

UC President Drake’s video message on Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

"Sexual Citizens" book cover and two headshots
The authors: Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan.


The virtual book discussion with authors Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan is scheduled from 5 to 6 p.m. Register here. The program is sponsored by CARE and the Love Lab, which, during the run-up to the authors event, held three campus discussions on the book. The Love Lab is part of Health Education and Promotion in Student Health and Counseling Services.

Hirsch is a professor of sociomedical sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, where she co-directed the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation, or SHIFT, which examined the many factors that shape sexual health and sexual violence for undergraduates at Columbia. Khan is a professor of sociology and American studies at Princeton University and co-headed, with Hirsch, SHIFT’s ethnographic component.

Sexual Citizens, which emerged from SHIFT, “transforms how we understand and address sexual assault,” according to the book’s website, and “reveals the social ecosystem that makes sexual assault a predictable element of life on a college campus.”

In offering their new perspective, Hirsch and Khan present three concepts:

  • Sexual projects — “‘What is sex for?’ Most young people today can’t answer that question, in large part because few adults have talked to them about it.”
  • Sexual citizenship — “People are ‘sexual citizens’ when they know they have the right to say ‘yes’ and the right to say ‘no’ to sex.”
  • Sexual geographies — “The spaces people move through are essential to understanding both sex, and sexual assault.”

These concepts “provide a new language for understanding the forces that shape young people’s sexual relationships,” the website declares. “The result transforms our understanding of sexual assault and provides a new roadmap for how to address it.”

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556, dateline@ucdavis.edu; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932, kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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