Thursday, November 6, 2014
Ivy League Sex Education: Anal Sex, Jungle Fever, Online Hookups
Here in America, the old English system of perpetuating the division between "the classes and the masses" (Quigley, 1966) that the Brits have with Oxford and Cambridge can be found in the Ivy League--a group of prestigious and expensive universities that produce many presidents, senators, blue chip CEOs, and the like. Harvard is arguably the most recognizable of these institutions which have a profound impact on the direction of higher education at large through influential publications (e.g. Harvard Business Review) and alumni, though intraconference pomp and rivalry are intense. So it was that after Yale University introduced "Sex Week" in 2002, Harvard was quick to join the race and has taken Ivy League sex ed to a new level.
You can go to Harvard's class schedule to see the courses on offer. I'm a straight guy, so I'm interested in taking Jungle Fever, Sex Ed 101 (because I honestly don't know what a "dental dam" is), and Online Hookup Culture so I can improve my "technique." As an aging single, I can use all the help I can get with sexting and mobile dating apps. Unfortunately, I don't live in the Boston area and Harvard has yet to put these courses online with edX. If they did I might even go for a certificate program, but I'm afraid one of the required courses will be What What In The Butt. I'm not a homosexual, but the course instructor says that's just due "repressive patriarchical conceptions of sex."
I'm sure I could successfully challenge the Losing Your Virginity course given all my undergraduate credits. ...And I've yet to look into the award winning sex program at Yale, but since it is home to the elite secret society known as Skull & Bones where ex-members like George Bush (father and son) and John Kerry would lay naked in a coffin and reveal their darkest secrets, I suspect it's pretty good. I'm not sure if "Boffin In A Coffin" is being offered, but past courses have included Fantasy Rape and Sex Geek Chic. It's unclear what the career prospects are for students who go through these workshops, but like many college majors these days, it's really not so much about pulling six figure salaries as it is about personal development and becoming a better person. An Ivy League education in "sexology" can help you accomplish that.
It remains to be seen if America's Ivy League can even begin to compete with the centuries old tradition of sex education that has been perfected by the British, but its a start. I'm probably behind the curve, given that I only went to flagship public universities where we didn't have anything like Sex Week (nothing official anyway), but one of my alma maters now has "gender neutral" restrooms. Last summer I visited the old campus and must say I found it quite liberating to expose myself to pee in a room with young ladies without fear of being arrested, though I'm not sure that's exactly what administration had in mind. Overall, I think what Harvard is doing is a good thing, and it's important to remember that classes like What What In The Butt have something to offer heterosexuals too.