The University of New Mexico recently received backlash for hosting “Sex Week,” a week focused on how to have healthy sexual relationships. Some conservative students claimed that the events were inappropriate and too provocative. UNM isn’t the only school where the discussion of sex is an issue, though. In 2013, a group of Boston College students were threatened with disciplinary action after handing out condoms to promote safe sex. The students were told that their distribution went against the school’s values and traditions, and were accused of making a mockery of those values. Really, BC, you pulled out that card?
While BC is a Jesuit Catholic institution and yes, Catholic values include remaining abstinent until marriage, the university needs to acknowledge that people are having sex and promote conversation about sexual relationships. I get it, I really do. People see BC as the good Catholic institution; my mom has even jokingly referred to me as a “good ole Catholic schoolgirl.” I understand that BC wants to uphold a certain reputation and certain values, but people’s attitudes towards sex have changed and the opinions on sexual freedom have become much more liberal. I mean, the stereotypical freshman goal is to get laid, and everyone knows it.
Take the Vatican attitudes for an example. Pope Francis has proven to be one pretty chill guy. He takes selfies with adoring tourists, for Pete’s sake! The Church's attitudes are as progressive as they’ve ever been, with their recent shift in attitude towards the LGBT community and divorce. If the Vatican can be so welcoming to those controversial issues, why can’t BC be as well? The Jesuits seem to always be at the forefront of social change, so shouldn’t they be supporting the shift in attitude towards sex?
Whenever someone asks me about BC’s Jesuit influence, I tell them that we are all about self-reflection and self-discovery. Wouldn’t sex fall under the category of “self-discovery?” Wouldn’t that discovery include physical/sexual aspects? Students are exploring their sexuality; they have the freedom over their bodies to do what they want. Sex isn’t always devoid of any emotional aspect either, maybe it is even being used to discover something greater. Who knows why people are having it?
Something needs to change here at BC when it comes to sex education. Now, I’m not saying that the school has to create events like UNM’s “BJs and Beyond,” “How to be a Gentleman AND Get Laid,” or “Negotiating Successful Threesomes.” However, the school is doing the students here a disservice by avoiding the topic of sex. BC needs to embrace some more moderate ideas and expectations that come with the subject of sex.
Schools should not be timid when it comes to sex. People need to be aware and not afraid to mention, let alone do, the deed. I am sure everyone has experienced the scarring birthing video in high school health class, but the conversation probably stopped there. While high school touched upon the bare minimum, more needs to done.
Schools should not try and scare kids into not having sex, but rather inform them of things such as STDs, pregnancy and rape. Sex needs to be talked about, specifically safe sex. Universities need to worry about educating people on how to have safer sex, rather than discouraging them from having it at all through a lack of open dialogue. If people are doing it, they might as well be smart about it, right? The focus should be on sex education, not let's-scare-the-celibacy-into-everyone.
Sex Week should be an event that is held everywhere. Students need to be educated, rather than living with blinders on and just going with the flow, because who knows where that could end up? People have sex, and I don’t think a celibacy revolution is happening any time soon.