Important Definitions

Federal Agency Definitions

Sex Discrimination – Disparate Treatment

Disparate treatment refers to actions that treat similarly situated persons differently on the basis of a prohibited classification. In the case of Title IX, the prohibited classification is sex. Disparate treatment is also referred to as “intentional,” “purposeful,” or “invidious” discrimination.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Title IX Legal Manual

Sex Discrimination – Disparate Impact

Disparate impact focuses on the consequences of an apparently sex-neutral policy or practice. Under this theory of discrimination, the core inquiry focuses on the results of the action taken, rather than the underlying intent.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Title IX Legal Manual

Sex Discrimination – Retaliation

Retaliation is an intentional adverse action taken against an individual for opposing sex discrimination.

Source: Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education, 544 U.S. 167 (2005). See U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Dear Colleague Letter (April 24, 2013)

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual assault or acts of sexual violence.

Source: Department of Justice and Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Joint Findings Letter to the University of Montana (May 9, 2013)

Hostile Environment

If harassing conduct is sufficiently serious (sufficiently severe or pervasive) to deny or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program based on sex then a hostile environment based on sex may exist.

Source: Department of Justice and Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Joint Findings Letter to the University of Montana (May 9, 2013)

Gender-based harassment

Non-sexual harassment of a person because of the person’s sex and/or gender, including, but not limited to, harassment based on the person’s nonconformity with gender stereotypes.

Source: Department of Justice, Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, and the University of Montana Resolution Agreement (May 9, 2013)

Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) Definitions

ConsentARS 13-1401(5)

“Without consent” includes any of the following:

  • The victim is coerced by the immediate use or threatened use of force against a person or property.
  • The victim is incapable of consent by reason of mental disorder, mental defect, drugs, alcohol, sleep or any other similar impairment of cognition and such condition is known or should have reasonably been known to the defendant. For purposes of this subdivision, “mental defect” means the victim is unable to comprehend the distinctively sexual nature of the conduct or is incapable of understanding or exercising the right to refuse to engage in the conduct with another.
  • The victim is intentionally deceived as to the nature of the act.
  • The victim is intentionally deceived to erroneously believe that the person is the victim’s spouse.

Domestic violenceARS 13-3601

“Domestic violence” means any act that is a dangerous crime against children as defined in section 13-705 or an offense prescribed in section 13-1102, 13-1103, 13-1104, 13-1105, 13-1201, 13-1202, 13-1203, 13-1204, 13-1302, 13-1303, 13-1304, 13-1406, 13-1502, 13-1503, 13-1504, 13-1602 or 13-2810, section 13-2904, subsection A, paragraph 1, 2, 3 or 6, section 13-2910, subsection A, paragraph 8 or 9, section 13-2915, subsection A, paragraph 3 or section 13-2916, 13-2921, 13-2921.01, 13-2923, 13-3019, 13-3601.02 or 13-3623, if any of the following applies:

  1. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is one of marriage or former marriage or of persons residing or having resided in the same household.
  2. The victim and the defendant have a child in common.
  3. The victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party.
  4. The victim is related to the defendant or the defendant’s spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
  5. The victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant.
  6. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship. The following factors may be considered in determining whether the relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship:
  • The type of relationship.
  • The length of the relationship.
  • The frequency of the interaction between the victim and the defendant.
  • If the relationship has terminated, the length of time since the termination.

Sexual assaultARS 13-1406(A)

A person commits sexual assault by intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person without consent of such person.

StalkingARS 13-2923

A person commits stalking if the person intentionally or knowingly engages in a course of conduct that is directed toward another person and if that conduct either:

  1. Would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of that person’s immediate family member and that person in fact fears for the person’s safety or the safety of that person’s immediate family member.
  2. Would cause a reasonable person to fear death of that person or that person’s immediate family member and that person in fact fears death of that person or that person’s immediate family member.

For more information, please see: http://www.titleix.arizona.edu/first_amendment.


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