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The Law & Education

Jan 30, 2020

Deconstructing our biases around niched behaviors and sexualities has been important for a long time now, and this urgency is no less great in the context of Title IX law and investigations. This is the first of a two-part episode where I talk to Stephanie Lott, Title IX Coordinator at Arkansas State University. Our conversation focusses on understanding kink and LGBTQI+ culture, and how investigators can be better prepared for Title IX cases involving people from these groups. There are many grey areas that can arise in cases covering situations that have turned from consensual to non-consensual in the LGBTQI+ and kink circles.

Stephanie stresses the importance of investigators who can build a good rapport and also the importance of Title IX professionals educating themselves about these communities. We also cover the steps Stephanie and her team have taken toward Arkansas State becoming a campus that is more diverse and accessible to all, and she brings up some amazing seminars and theatre-based education initiatives working toward that end. Stephanie shares a wealth of important information whose relevance reaches far outside of the Title IX space in this brilliant conversation, so make sure you don’t miss out on it.


Key Points From This Episode:

  • Stephanie’s process working in student conduct and Title IX at Arkansas State.
  • Lessons learned about campus culture and investigations working in student conduct.
  • Stephanie’s team structure and the number of students at Arkansas State.
  • Benefits of having a floater with a good rapport on Stephanie’s team.
  • A definition of kink culture referring to behavior involving deviance.
  • Challenges presented in kink-related Title IX cases involving shame and ignorance.
  • A daunting Title IX case example: a rape role-play which turned un-consensual.
  • The helpfulness of safe words in signaling actual feelings in kink environments.
  • Tendencies in kink culture to challenge social norms that may bring out investigator biases.
  • Tips for investigators to educate themselves about kink and build rapport with complainants or respondents.
  • What LGBTQI+ means and how the culture can become an ‘alphabet soup.’
  • The multiple meanings of queer and gay pertaining to who uses the term.
  • Educational conferences Stephanie works on which offer basics of LGBTQI+ terminology.
  • Special considerations in a Title IX case involving an LGBTQI+ community member.



“There are people who consensually at some point will sign up to do a role-play of a rape scene with a partner or an NSA hookup and how does that manifest itself into a Title IX investigation?” — Stephanie Lott [0:16:48]

“Contrary to most folks’ stigma, gay people don’t know every other gay person and we don’t know everything about our own communities sometimes.” — Stephanie Lott [0:28:30]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Stephanie Lott

Courtney Bullard on LinkedIn

Institutional Compliance Solutions

Hot Topics in Title IX Compliance Conference

Title IX University

Speak Out

Theatre Intimacy Education