Last week was Sex Week at the Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee. It has received plenty of publicity. The Tennessee House passed a resolution condemning the event and another resolution is in the offing that will direct the University of Tennessee’s Board of Trustees to “fix” the problem before next year. However, the real problem with Sex Week is something much deeper and the “real” fix will be much longer in coming.
The legislature is rightly concerned with the type of “education” about human sexuality that Sex Week promotes. For example, it is highly doubtful that the porn star who is part of the program is going to paint a true picture of all the harm that comes as a consequence of pornography. There is not space enough to recount all those harms but the information is readily available.
And the legislature is rightly concerned about what message Sex Week sends to prospective parents who are considering where they are willing to plunk down the tuition dollars for their children. Maybe UT’s trustees aren’t worried about the university’s image or think parents don’t care what their children are going to be exposed to. But if they think that, then they need to be replaced.
But, with all due respect to the legitimate concerns of our legislators and their efforts to get UT to address those concerns, there is a bigger and deeper problem. And it is pervasive in our society – our current view of human sexuality and sexual intimacy in particular.
I remember a friend telling me that she had been told by a former leading figure in public higher education in Tennessee that sex was nothing more than an animalistic urge that had to be satisfied. It seems to me that such is the perception of so many in our society — sex is a mere biological need that must be satisfied in whatever way works for the individual.
If that is truly all sex is, then I would concede that there is little basis upon which to object to whatever meets a person’s need, except prudential considerations related to understanding the harm that could come to you and preventing harm to an another person.
And certainly there are prudential considerations related to a sexually active person’s physical and emotional health that they need to understand. Unfortunately, some of those facts go against what is politically correct and are kept relatively quiet, particularly among students in our public colleges where a liberal worldview dictates everything. What I read in this regard in the book, Unprotected, by Dr. Miriam Grossman, was appalling and deeply troubling.
In my opinion, legislators would do well to make sure that certain specific information is being given to students on our college campuses about the physical and emotional health issues associated with sexual promiscuity and certain sexual practices in particular. Only the most hateful person would not want students to get this information. But it would take more courage by legislators to support that type of legislation than to condemn Sex Week, because the liberal media would paint them all as prudes who are backward and bringing embarrassment to our state.
However, even such legislation is more of a topical solution than a remedy to the disease of sex-is-nothing-but-biology philosophy of today. What is needed is more men and women who are living out monogamous, healthy marriages that are a picture of a kind of relational beauty that even the most cynical person would recognize.
If such pictures abounded in our society, then I believe they would tug at the deep, eternal longing we have for something more than physical pleasure, a longing for an enduring type of love and intimacy where strong emotional bonds and the security of commitment heightens pleasure.
We debase something really beautiful when we reduce it to nothing but biology. The best “argument” conservatives can make against things like Sex Week is becoming examples of sexual and relational beauty for our youth to see.