Recommended

Westminster College not backing down from offering hardcore porn class despite backlash

 Westminster College, Utah
Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 11, 2015. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en |

Westminster College said it won't be canceling an elective class where students will be watching hardcore porn together to study it as “an art form” during its upcoming May term despite an outpouring of complaints online.

The college, which is in Salt Lake City, Utah, said the subject matter is "as American as apple pie" and one that "requires serious contemplation.” 

“We have no intention to back away from offering this class. By and large, the campus community is supportive of that academic freedom and Westminster’s commitment to talking about tough subjects,” Westminster College’s Chief Marketing Officer Sheila Yorkin told Desert News

The website of the accredited and comprehensive liberal arts college says: “Hard core pornography is as American as apple pie and more popular than Sunday night football. Our approach to this billion-dollar industry is as both a cultural phenomenon that reflects and reinforces sexual inequalities (but holds the potential to challenge sexual and gender norms) and as an art form that requires serious contemplation. We will watch pornographic films together and discuss the sexualization of race, class, and gender as an experimental, radical art form.”

The students who opt for the pornography course will meet twice a week for three hours over the four-week term and students will be “thinking seriously about this media,” associate professor Eileen Chanza Torres, who will be teaching the class, was quoted as saying.

“The course is not really a course about just sitting down and watching porn and then going home, right? That’s not what we ever do. There are some active conversations and so we’re looking at the history of the representation of pornography on film. As soon as the human animal creates a new technology, we put sex in it. ... And so that’s pretty much the focus of thinking about how pornography has developed alongside technology,” the professor added.

“I tell the students, ‘If it’s too much, you can tap out. You can walk out. You don’t have to tell me anything about it, it’s perfectly OK.’ You know, in the past, I’ve never had a student walk out from any of these discussions.”

Many have protested against the course, however.

One online petition demands that the college “remove these classes from their course list.”

“The Supreme Court has defined obscenity as ‘completely devoid of scientific, political, educational, or social value.’ We agree. Pornography is devoid of educational value and has no place in the classroom,” says the petition. “In these classes, young students and teachers watch pornography together in a classroom. This creates an unsafe environment for students and faculty and normalizes pornography in culture. These are not Utah values and these classes have no part in the Utah education system.” 

In response to nationwide criticism for its offering, the college said in a statement: “Westminster College occasionally offers elective courses like this as an opportunity to analyze social issues. As part of this analysis, Westminster College and universities across the county often examine potentially offensive topics like pornography to further understand their pervasiveness and impact. Descriptions of these courses, while alarming to some readers, help students decide if they wish to engage in serious investigation of controversial subjects.”

In a recent column for The Christian Post, Dr. Richard Land, the executive editor of this publication, noted that, on average, American boys' first exposure to hardcore porn has dropped from 17 to 11 years old. 

"While pornography does exploit and objectify women, it also victimizes young men," Land wrote. "Millions of these boys and young men are receiving their sex miseducation from internet porn. Having been exposed and too often addicted to this twisted view of human sexuality, they are daily having their ability to become the husbands and fathers they desire to be stunted, twisted and destroyed. 

"Hardcore internet pornography has poisoned the basic building block of human relationships, the man-woman interaction that produces marriage and families," he added.

Free CP Newsletters

Join over 250,000 others to get the top stories curated daily, plus special offers!

Sponsored

Most Popular

More In U.S.