As I observed the debate between porn star Ron Jeremy and feminist activist Susan G. Cole last Wednesday, I was shocked to see how defensive the audience got when it came to Cole’s argument. There’s no doubt that sex plays a huge role in society today. However, seeing the hostility that grew in some students as they heard the challenges made against pornography made me question what positive effects our open attitudes toward sex might be having on American culture.
Sex education is without a doubt one of the most important aspects in a healthy lifestyle. While the reaction of the audience at the debate definitely threw me for a loop, it would be wrong to claim that such an event wasn’t advantageous for students.
Along with the debate, sexologist Megan Andelloux spoke at Oswego State on the previous Monday evening as well. It seems our campus is growing increasingly interested and focused on human sexuality.
For a long time, sex had been treated as a taboo topic. Parents would shy away the subject, hoping that their child would know to make the best decisions when the time came. If we’re being realistic though, it’s relevant that the majority of teenagers, if not all teenagers, come across several sexual situations where they have questions they don’t know the answers to. Where would society be today if we continued to sweep sex under the rug, ignoring the fact that it’s so important to a human being’s life?
We are sexual creatures. We crave attention, adoration, and pleasure. The presence of the many desires and conflicts related to sex will inevitably occur in every individual’s life. It is our nature. So how can one argue that having a firm knowledge behind sex could be harmful to society’s young adults? The more we know about our sexuality and the effects our decisions can have on us, the more likely we are to act wisely.
However, despite the positive lessons being offered to the students at Oswego, are we desensitizing the concept of sex? This question seemed to be what circled around my mind most as I watched Ron Jeremy justify the works of the porn industry last Wednesday. The use of pornography is wildly popular among our population today, whether or not some of you would like to admit it.
If anything, I believe it allows us to explore our sexual desires and release sexual tension and stress more efficiently. Yet, are recent pornography trends taking the idea of sex and transforming it into one of unrealistic expectations? Maybe not so much at Oswego State, but certainly in mainstream society, I’ve seen a huge increase in this sort of sex-related publicity. Fortunately I think the point of such a debate, as well as the talk given by Andelloux, challenged Oswego State students to questions these concepts. By being more open about sex on our campus, students are given an outlet where they may explore their own personal ideas and sexual preferences.
Providing resources on sex education can only promote better decisions and a more confident sex life for Oswego State students. The ability to consider our own opinion on such a sensitive and vital part of human life is something that should be valued at our age. Oswego State has done a superb job at offering its students the counseling services, forms of protection and education that apply to a healthy sex life. In turn, I believe this will allow us to make wiser decisions and become more confident overall into the future. We shouldn’t be afraid to discuss such a normal and natural part of our life as sex.