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Utah College Course Merges Porn with Academics, Ending a Dilemma for Some Students

There have been instances in which a student has had to choose between attending class or watching porn. For students attending Salt Lake City's Westminster College, the dilemma's no longer an issue.

According to Campus Reform, its “film studies courses” for the 2022-23 school year includes “FILM-3000: Porn.” CR provides a description from the department's website: “Hardcore pornography is as American as apple pie, and is more popular than football on Sunday nights. Our strategy for this billion-dollar business is to view it as a phenomenon of culture which reflects and strengthens the gender gap (but it also has the possibility of challenging gender and sexuality expectations) and also as an artwork that demands an intense amount of thought.”

Prepare yourself for an exciting evening: “We will view pornographic movies together and talk about class and gender as well as its potential as an experimental and radical art form.”

Campus Reform published its piece on April 19. The link offered by the publication doesn't lead to a list of classes. The same is true for a purported gender studies class with the same description.

However, Salt Lake City's KTVX confirmed the authenticity of the class. In fact, ABC4 reached the instructor, Chanza Torres. When asked why she's offering a pornography course, Chanza Torres calls it “a fascinating study of people and gender performance…The majority of porn is bad for women, although there is some variety in porn.” Torres's class is designed to make students aware of the effects of pornography on gender roles in the U.S. Her research analyzes sites that are popular for their pornographic content as problematic websites that deny the lawfulness of pornography as well as its ethics generally. She insists that although she's “sex positive and body-positive,” the curriculum in Westminster was designed to challenge pornographic content by using rigorous methodological frameworks. It's not her job or her students’ to “watch porn, giggle, and go home.” Her hope is that her class will be a secure and controlled place for those who are curious about the effects of pornography on society.

According to the general understanding, males have been intrigued by porn since the beginning. Many have hired study partners. In terms of carnality in colleges, there's a lot happening. Education never looked so sexy: “The Harvard ‘Sex Week' Program Includes ‘Orgies 101,’ Proves COVID Recovery Is in the Can,” “The Old College Challenge: Prestigious University Asks Students to Spin the Wheel of Fornication,” “The Dirty Work: Universities Strive to Convince Students about the ‘Positives’ of Sex,” “University Eyes Forcing Staff/Students to Use Preferred Pronouns Giving Everyone Access to Girls Locker Rooms.”

And Utah is more vibrant than you think. “F-Bombing Teacher Tells Kids Trump Is a ‘Sexual Predator' and That Parents Are More Sluggish Than They Actually Are,” “Utah Freeway Cop Pulls Over Possible Drunk Driver, and Turns Out It Was Just a Child.”

However, there are some who aren't onboard with academic-backed porn-related studies. So, they've created a Change.org petition: “Westminster College, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, has classes where students will watch porn together. In the description of the course for Gender*300O Porn, Westminster describes ‘hard core pornography… as American as apple pie.’ This is not the case within OUR state. We are requesting Westminster College to remove these classes from their schedule. The Supreme Court has defined obscenity as ‘completely devoid of scientific, political, educational, or social value.’ We're in agreement. Pornography has no educational value and does not have a need to be in the school classroom.” 

The classroom is where pupils and teachers view pornography? This creates a dangerous environment for faculty and students and also normalizes porn in culture. These aren't Utah values, and these classes should not be part of the Utah education system–or any education system.

Will it be an element of the syllabus? Apart from the moral aspects, there are those who might criticize it for being an easy elective to take. But critics shouldn't conclude that it's a slack class for lazy people; it’s certain there will be students who study very hard.

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