"Sex week" events cause controversy on US campuses

October 20, 2014

“Sex week” events, which offer students a safe setting for sex education and conversations about sexuality and relationships, are popular at some US colleges and universities but backlash from some parents, alumni, and politicians are making some institutions reconsider offering such programming. In Tennessee, state politicians passed a bill condemning the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s sex week and demanded that administrators pull the event’s funding. Administrators refused to completely ban the event, saying that doing so would violate students’ freedom of speech. At East Tennessee State University, sex week organizers were denied funding by the student senate, who were concerned about financial repercussions at the state level; the University of New Mexico, meanwhile, issued an apology for its campus sex week, saying that some of the titles for its sex week events were inappropriate. Proponents say that the events help students learn how to healthfully navigate sexual relationships, with seminars on gender identity, safe sex, and emotional and mental health. Inside Higher Ed