Yale University has made headlines in recent years for hosting numerous controversial sex-themed events in the classroom, most notably showing hard-core pornography to students that depicted fantasy rape and sadism as part of the infamous “Sex Week” at Yale.
Worse yet, the university became the target of a federal investigation for its harmful sexual climate. At the conclusion of the investigation last year, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Education’s office for Civil Rights said that Yale had under-reported incidents of sexual harassment and assault “for a very long time,” and failed to keep adequate records of incidents of sexual misconduct.
This week the Daily Telegraph reports that sexual misconduct is worse than ever at Yale:
Yale is fighting to stamp out sexual assaults on campus after a rise to ‘historic’ levels, university officials said.
The Ivy League school in Connecticut, where tuition costs around $50,000-a-year, came under federal investigation in 2011 after 15 students filed a complaint alleging that the university is a ‘hostile sexual environment’ and failed to deal with incidents of sexual harassment.
Their evidence included a video of alleged Yale fraternity pledges holding a sign that reads ‘We love Yale sluts’ and chanting ‘No Means Yes’ on campus.According to a Yale committee, in the second half of 2011, 14 sexual assaults were reported which includes rape and unwanted touching. Some 13 attacks were reported last year.
A separate federal report showed that in 2011 there were 37 sexual assaults at Yale – a rise from 21 attacks the year before.
However these statistics may not reflect reality as rapes and sexual assault are typically crimes that are under-reported.
Yale officials, while publicly expressing concern about cases of real-world sexual violence on campus, nevertheless insist that porn films that include glamorized portrayals of sexual violence and rape are allowable in the classroom under their definition of “academic freedom.”
Fantasy rape is “academic freedom?” you might ask. In fact, those are the very words the Yale Dean’s office used to explain to me why it allowed hard-core sexual violence to be screened in the classroom, as I first reported in my book Sex & God at Yale (p.209), published last summer.
In this way, Yale officials seem to confuse “academic freedom” with having no academic standards whatsoever. What, after all, could be more indicative of the lack of academic standards than showing violent porn in the classroom in the context of ‘how-to’ style sex education, meant to education students on how they might conduct their own sex lives?
Until Yale officials begin to take responsibility for the heinous values they are sponsoring by hosting such events in the classroom– events which resulted in many Yale students, including myself, witnessing the abuse and flagrant humiliation of women in the context of sex education–their purported effort to combat sexual misconduct on campus will remain, in my eyes, as unimpressive as it has been thus far ineffective.
Bottom line: The toxic sexual culture at Yale is exacerbated by the negligent attitude of the university officials charged with its leadership. It is the responsibility of students, parents, and alumni–as well as the U.S. taxpayers who subsidize Yale’s programs through a myriad of grants and subsidized student loans–to hold those officials accountable.
Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix.
Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden