Sexy/Non-sexy Sex Education/Degradation at Yale University

If you prowl The Daily Beast every day like I don’t, you may have come across this article, entitled When Sex Isn’t Sexy: My Bizzare Education at Yale. The article was written by a recent Yale graduate, Nathan Harden ’09, who also recently wrote a book in a similar vein (Sex and God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad). As some of you may remember, Wesleyan was ranked the #1 Horniest school in the country by The Daily Beast, right ahead of our good friends down the river at Yale. According to most Wes kids, we probably deserved that ranking both academically and socially.

Read on past the jump for a summary of Harden’s (whose surname may or may not be topically ironic) opinions on this burgeoning academic phenomenon of sex in the classroom (pun possibly intended), or more specifically my opinions on his opinions.

Harden’s article amounts to this: “Since it has now become an unofficial requirement that you attend Yale in order to attain the highest levels of political office” (direct quote), Yale has a mission to be so fucking pretentious a stuck-up fuck like me looks the epitome of humility “the training ground for America’s political and cultural elite,” and Yale has failed in that mission by allowing sex education on campus to expand in drastic new ways.

Harden does have some legitimate points. Yale’s academic officials should not play host to porn screenings that glamorize sexual violence. Yale needs to take strong action against sexual violence on campus, up to and including “frat boys chanting ‘No means Yes'” (something Wes also encountered recently).

But—and this is a big but (pun definitely intended)—all the sex-related courses, sex toy expos, guest lectures by porn stars, and Yale’s Sex Week (the equivalent of Wesleyan’s Sexpo in Sexley) does not mean that Yale’s ‘revered President-factory’ (not a quote) has somehow been clogged with sticky bodily fluids. Sex happens on campus. Sex will continue to happen on campus. If you are interested in having sex, you might as well be educated about it.

Similarly, the sex industry exists. The sex industry will continue to exist. If you are interested in how the sex industry effects or affects or is affected by human culture, you might as well be educated about it.

Finally, the author goes well out of his way to take issue with something entirely irrelevant: Yale’s admission of a former Taliban official, or what he calls “moral relativism disguised as multiculturalism.” This particular blogger has several problems with this argument. For one, this guy’s presence does not undermine Yale’s integrity via academic freedom—he’s there to learn just like everybody else. It doesn’t matter what his beliefs are, and even if they did, they’re now in a position to change. Two, former association with the Taliban doesn’t mean much—not many Afghans really had a choice in that matter until 2001. Three, to denounce someone for supporting a closed-minded regime without any ostensible effort to understand their character is mind-numbingly ironic. I think I understand how Yale is a politician’s training ground.

Anywho, this particular blogger was depressed by the article and wants to stop thinking about it now. Get your own take on it here, and tell me why I’m wrong or right in the comments.

One thought on “Sexy/Non-sexy Sex Education/Degradation at Yale University

  1. Ron Medley

    Well, the book’s title is apt since it was William F. Buckley who perfected the art of the academic pillory over sixty years ago. Both make false assumptions about Yale’s place in the modern world and then assert its iminent destruction. For Buckley in “God and Man at Yale” (1951), it was Yale’s founding and stature as a Christian institution; for Mr. Harden, it seems to be Yale’s alleged position as the leading producer of American political leaders. Leaving aside for the moment the fact that half the faculty at Yale was well on its way to becoming Jewish during Buckley’s time or that half the alumni mentioned by Harden were graduates of it’s law school (thus, whatever their sexual baccalaureates consisted of, they were earned somewhere else), neither author seems to have any qualms with the underlying assumption; what’s of greater importance is that it is under attack by some one or some thing that is figuratively and spiritually beyond the pale. Therefore, just as Buckley spends much of his book tilting at the windmills of modern secularism, so Mr. Harden drives home the point once made at the end of season one of the television show “The Soprano’s’ (and, probably coined by Wesleyan alum, Matthew Weiner): “Cunnilingus and psychiatry brought us to this.”

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