Ashley Herzog

Last week, when I wrote about the pornification of American college campuses, many readers expressed their loss of hope in the current generation of students, as well as the administrators who encourage such a debased culture.

If my column made you weep for the future, you’ll probably be even more disheartened by the book I referenced last week, “Sex and God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad” by Nathan Harden. The book is an expose of how, in the words of Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain, “some of our nation’s finest universities have allowed themselves to become cesspools of perversion.”

Some of the most shocking examples come from “Sex Week” at Yale, which Harden covers in detail. Activities have included sex tutorials, lectures by corporate suits from the porn industry, and a violent BDSM demonstration by porn star Madison Young. (Charmingly, Young performed for students in the buff.)

Harden shows time and again that campus porno culture demands a “there shalt be no judgment” mentality when it comes to sexuality. This commandment applies even to practices that are dangerous or dehumanizing for the participants. In one example, porn star Buck Angel was attacked for suggesting the adult film industry has a moral responsibility to promote condom use. The audience clearly rejected the notion that sex should involve moral responsibility to anyone or anything. Health, well-being, and safety don’t matter—just so long as everyone is consenting.

But Harden also mentions a decidedly different event that took place at Sex Week: a talk called “A Philosophical Defense of the Sexual Counterrevolution,” sponsored by Yale’s Anscombe Society.

I first heard about the Anscombe Society in 2007, when I was a 21-year-old college student interning in Washington, DC. “Counterrevolutionary” is a fitting description for this group of students, who want to “move from saying what is permissible…to what is right and what is good.” Anscombe chapters have flourished on Ivy League campuses, where porno culture is most extreme.

“During my freshman orientation program, I was required to attend a presentation called ‘Sex Signals,’ which aims at informing students about sexual assault,” says Luciana Milano, a member of Harvard’s Anscombe Society. “However, the crude and offensive presentation gave me a taste of a broader message, one which completely ignores the moral dimension of human sexuality.”


Ashley Herzog

Ashley Herzog can be reached at aebristow85@gmail.com.