How Publicly Funded Colleges Encourage Dangerous Sex
At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I was led behind closed doors to watch a performance depicting how “all white people are racist,” and asked to raise my hand if I identified with a point of privilege, such as being “white, English-speaking, or straight.” This inherently racist propaganda is only topped by university-funded programs like Sex Week, where facilitators snort and giggle as students stuff their pockets full of free colorful, glow-in-the-dark, and flavored condoms.
As an organization for conservative women on college campuses, the Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women often plunges into deep conversations with students about campus culture. Often, the rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), hooking up, and sexual assault surface as top concerns.
Normalizing Risky, Unhealthy Sex
Universities’ efforts to endorse sexually profligate lifestyles often result in cringey attempts to normalize bizarre, risky, and even destructive behavior. Events, curriculum, and programs prodding fornication, kinky activity, and pornography feed off the naiveté of freshman boys and girls to normalize particular avenues of sexual pleasure and “disinfect” campus of “heteronormativity.”
For example, in 2016, Northwestern University hosted a “Sex Fest” in which facilitators hosted activities such as genital cookie decorating, edible lube taste-testing, and a “Porn Panel,” in which students could speak to porn stars named “London,” “Rain,” and “Electra.”
That same year, the University of Chicago’s Sex Week included a “sexual pain” workshop encouraging students to try bondage, light electrocution, and flogging. Yes, flogging. Additional events included “The Magical World of Porn,” “Dirty Talking Etc.,” “A Consumer’s Guide to Sex Toys,” and “Dating While Trans.”
The student government approved a field trip to a local sex club as an “opportunity to connect/engage with the broader Chicago kink community and to engage in BDSM activities.” As a means to promote diversity and inclusion, the university added this event to their annual Sex Week activities.
This was only three years ago. And, it has only gotten worse. Recently, a rising sophomore at Georgia College and State University reached out to us explaining her Sex Week experience. She felt pressured to attend an event called; “Sex, Love and Chocolate,” which the majority of students in her honors program were attending.
The event consisted of several informational videos produced by Planned Parenthood, explaining to students how to protect against STIs and pregnancy, and how to properly use condoms, dental damns and contraceptive methods. It also included a segment about how to schedule an abortion.
Students were then divided into two teams to compete in a relay race to see who could put a condom on a banana faster. The winning team’s prize? Handfuls of condoms.
While I was a student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, my freshman dorm floor was rounded up and herded to the common area for a game of “Sex Jeopardy” hosted by the university-funded student organization, “Sex Out Loud.” Facilitators set up a colorful game board featuring categories like, “contraceptive methods,” “myth,” “sex toys and kink,” and “sex positions.” A friend of mine recalled the facilitator explaining that standing “doggy-style” is the best position for shower sex.
During the awkward bursts of nervous giggling, I remember glancing around the room at my freshman peers, noticing how uncomfortable they looked, and thinking about how appalled parents would be to see how the university spends their money and affects their children.
Placing Heartbreak and Regret on the Backburner
About 80 percent of college students report participating in some sort of hookup experience. However, the motivations of men and women engaging in promiscuous sex vary and affect them differently, a point feminists often ignore. A Princeton University study reveals that before the hookup, “girls expect emotional involvement almost twice as often as guys; 34% hope a ‘relationship might evolve.’” Guys, on the other hand, “are in part motivated by hopes of improving their social reputation, or of bragging about their exploits to friends the next day.”
The Center for Conservative Women’s resourceful booklet titled “Sense and Sexuality” shares that 91 percent of young girls feel regret immediately after hooking up. They feel used and guilty. Eighty percent even wish it never happened and that same number say they felt vulnerable.
Normalizing casual hookups, pornography, acrobatic sex positions in dorm rooms, and even activities like flogging have fostered rising percentages of porn addictions, STIs and other health risks, rates of depression, and sexual assault among college students.
In 2015, cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis within the United States reached an unprecedented high, particularly among people age 15-24. Colleges encourage preventative steps, such as using at least two forms of contraception and being clear with one’s partner about any sexual diseases. However, precaution is often thrown out during casual hookups, and the majority of students still do not get tested.
This comes as no surprise when university-funded sex-ed courses, often categorized as Comprehensive Sex Education, throw away any use of the word “abstinence” to avoid promoting a “religious practice”—a common reason I hear from young women I interact with through the Center for Conservative Women. For example, Harvard University hosted an anal sex workshop during Sex Week to teach students about “putting things in your butt.” The program’s facilitator hashed over the “stupidity of abstinence,” and describe people who don’t watch anal porn as “dirty, f***king liars.”
Blurred Lines Between Hookups and Assault
Hookup culture has also led to the spike in sexual assault on college campuses. While most cases of rape and sexual assault involve alcohol, binge-drinking, and excessive intoxication, the college climate regarding sex conveys to young adults that emotionless, casual, and “meaningless” sex is safe and routine. Young girls feel pressure to go home with the guy because “she can,” and “everyone is doing it,” and young men follow suit to quest for sex and act in ways that “get girls.” Emotional ties are trumped in hookup culture, and boundaries are often blurred when she’s treated as another stranger.
According to Lisa Wade, the author of, “American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus,” hookup culture both camouflages sexual predation and catalyzes it. The behavior associated with sexual assault is inching closer to situations where hookups start: getting women or other targets drunk, touching them in public, pulling them into secluded areas, and having sex with really drunk people.
Normalizing this behavior thins lines, making it difficult for young students to distinguish assault from a hookup, and assaulters to use hookup culture as an excuse for their behavior. These effects have been found to be particularly destructive for young women.
Women in college are three times more likely to be victims of sexual assault, and as a result, develop short and long-term effects on their mental health. Effects include depression, PTSD, substance use disorders, eating disorders, and anxiety. Promiscuity also has these same effects!
Freshman orientation is clearly corrupted with political propaganda, and yes, something needs to be changed. However, the left’s influence runs deeper than awkward pronoun introductions and hateful bashing of our president. They have normalized a behavior destroying the mental, emotional and physical health of young men and especially young women on college campuses.
Kara Bell is a public relations officer for the Center for Conservative Women. She’s on Twitter @karabellbell.