As the smoke clears after Sex Week 2014, reflection and assessment has begun. Only its second year on campus, Sex Week has made its impact felt since being introduced in spring 2013.

Similarly to last year, the "Lip Sync for Your Life: Drag Show," co-sponsored with Lambda Student Union, was the most popular event, boasting more than 500 attendees.

Summer Awad, executive board member of SEAT and sophomore studying sociology, said approximately 60 people had to be turned away at the door.

Events with speakers like Megan Andelloux, who brought in more than 200 attendees, were also popular.

Colleen Ryan, member of the SEAT executive board and freshman global studies, said Tristan Taormino, a sex educator and pornographic film director, was another favorite. However, he noted, it is typically the edgier events that draw fire from the public and the legislature.

Nathan Harden, author of "Sex & God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad," was critical of Sex Week's decision to retain events of this nature after last year's funding crisis.

Taormino, in fact, spoke at Yale during Harden's time there. Harden stated that Taormino makes and sells porn in addition to her career as a speaker. Before her speaking engagement at Yale, Harden recalls Taormino selling porn DVDs and merchandise out of her car to his classmates.

"She has nothing to say to a student that's worth paying to hear," Harden said. "... She is part of an industry that proudly makes money by sexually exploiting and objectifying women, thereby demeaning all of us.

"These people are out for a profit; they aren't educators."

Ryan, however, remained firm in Taormino's value as an invited guest.

"I don't feel that any of our events crossed ethical or moral lines," Ryan said. "I believe all of our events were educational in some manner, albeit not in the traditional sense."

Although Taormino is not an accredited sexologist, Sex Week at UT hosted a number of events instructed by professors, Planned Parenthood representatives and certified sexologists like Andelloux and Dr. Lindsey Doe, another of Sex Week's speakers.

Sexologists are accredited by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, the American College of Sexologists or the American Board of Sexology among others.

"We only allow professionals in sexuality education to answer questions about sexuality from positions of authority," Awad said.

Despite also hosting events addressing safety, abstinence, long-term intimacy and religion, Harden found fault with Sex Week's "one-sided, extremely liberal view of sex" which posits the idea that "if you aren't having it as often as possible, with as many people as possible, in as many bizarre ways as possible, there is something wrong with you."

But out of Sex Week, there may come a major shift in UT education.

Awad confirmed that SEAT is in the process of creating a comprehensive sexual assault course that would be mandatory for all freshmen.

"We are trying to change the conversation surrounding this so that people begin talking about sexual assault in the context of rape culture and sexual repression and so that we may begin pointing out when things are not working rather than maintaining the status quo," Awad said. "I think this cultural shift is where we have the potential to make the biggest impact."

 

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