AP Helpfully Tones Down Coverage of University's 'Sex Week'

When the Associated Press reported on the upcoming “Sex Week” program at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, the reporter calmly noted that the “student-initiated” event will begin on Friday, April 5, and include several generic seminar topics.

However, when Fox News Radio's Todd Starnes described the same program, he indicated that it will include such controversial aspects as seminars by a lesbian bondage expert and a campus-wide scavenger hunt for a golden condom.

The March 22 AP article began by cheering the fact that donors "have stepped up" and contributed $7,000 on Thursday, including a donation of $1,000 by Planned Parenthood, so the program can go on as scheduled.

The report explained that the fund-raising effort was necessary because “mounting pressure from state legislators” forced the university administrators to take back more than $11,000 that had been earmarked to help pay for the “first-ever” event.

Brianna Rader, a co-founder of the Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee (SEAT) club on campus, said she was thrilled that the event will still take place since the university is providing $6,700 in student fees to the project.

The article concluded with a listing of generic seminar topics, including “birth control, communication, preventing sexual assault, gender issues, abstinence choices, the role of faith and sexual health.”

But when Starnes discussed the same six-day event, he noted that UT spokeswoman Karen Simpson said that the school is supporting this workshop “because it covers a wide range of issues that are beneficial to our students.”

Among the 30 events planned as part of the program are discussions on such controversial topics as:  “Getting Laid,” “Sex Positivity; Queer as a Verb,” “Bow Chicka Bow Woah,” “How to Talk to Your Parents About Sex,” “Loud and Queer” and “How Many Licks Does It Take…” -- a workshop about oral sex.

“It’s tackling important topics related to sexual health, sexual identity, preventing sexual assault, gender roles (and) religion,” Simpson added. “The students have done a good job making sure there are things to appeal to all.”

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the event will be discussions by “noted lesbian bondage expert and erotica author Sinclair Sexsmith,” who will deliver a lecture entitled “Messing Around With Gender.”

“In addition to hosting college workshops and lectures about queer theory, she is an expert in sexuality and leather,” Starnes stated.

Rader told Starnes that Sexsmith will not be engaging in lesbian bondage demonstrations during her appearance.

“She’s doing a workshop on poetry about sexuality,” Rader said. “She’s also going to be talking about constructing and reconstructing gender roles in society.”

According to the SEAT website, the organization predicts that Sex Week “will foster ongoing, open, and productive dialogue and will add to the value of student life and the co-curricular education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.”

It's interesting to note that neither report discusses abstinence being mentioned as part of discussions.

Hat tip: Bill Hobbs

Education Higher Education Sexuality Pornography Associated Press Journalistic Issues Brianna Rader Fox News Radio Todd Starnes