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University of Maryland presents Pornography

15 April 2009 No Comment
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The University, a place of Higher Education. A source for the development of the mind, a place to practice discipline, and a training ground to build the type of skills and networks needed for the best of futures.

The University of Maryland, College Park announced that the student union would show a porno movie as a way to… wait show what?!

Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge will be shown at midnight Saturday in a campus theater usually home to tamer fare such as independent and foreign films. The distributor of the film, Digital Playground, offered it to the student union for free, so student activities fees are not being used to finance it. A student programming committee voted to screen the film, billed as a “XXX blockbuster.”

Thank goodness. Disaster averted. No student activities fees are being used for this. That would be wrong. Anything else that should be addressed though? Anything?

The University officials acknowledged that the film is “not for everyone” but say the idea was to provide students with an alternative to late-night drinking and other dangerous activities.

It is true that late-night drinking could potentially be very dangerous, but the university officials are very naive to think that the encouragement of porn does not in itself, have ill if not dangerous effects on it’s viewers.

Let’s take one example: the way pornography degrades women as sexual objects. Isn’t that just as important of an issue, if not greater than late night drinking?

How about some other chilling statistics? 81% of serial killers said that hard-core pornography was their highest sexual interest. According to a report from Dr. William Marshall, Report on the use of Pornography by Sexual Offenders, 57% of serial rapist admitted to imitating scenes found in pornography. 41% of all sexual assaults followed the use of pornography. Another study in Mills College by sociologist Diana Russell found that viewing pornography would intensify the “rape myth” that most women really enjoy having sex forced on them.

This is only one of a long list of detrimental effects of pornography.

At least someone seems to have some sense here:

“We’re trying to promote greater respect on campus of all people and something like a pornographic film is not contributing to the buildup of the human person… It’s degrading to the human person. It really runs counter to our efforts to try to form people to be men and women who will go out and contribute to society.” – Rev Kyle Ingels, chaplain of the Catholic Student Center at Maryland

So then what was the reasoning behind the screening of a porn movie?

“We thought this would be something fun for the students to do… we’re a college movie theater and we thought it would bring out the students” – Lisa Cunningham, program coordinator for the Hoff Theater

I am stunned. Is this appropriate for a University? Where are the women’s groups to protest this encouragement of the objectification of women in a school event? Is there anyone in the school administration who thinks they should object to this event?

College is a time when many students are finally free from their parents. They are in a time of their lives where they are more open to trying new things and chase the “college experience”. It’s a time of “first times” and experimentation. How shrewd of the pornography company to target them at such a susceptible age. Porn addiction is well documented and rampant. Grab them now, profit off of them for a life time.

Do they have a counter to the detrimental effects of screening a porn movie?

The student union asked Planned Parenthood to make a brief presentation on safe sex practices before the film. The organization agreed because it would be a chance to reach a population it doesn’t normally have access to, said Dr. Laura Meyers, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington. The organization will provide information on abstinence, sexually transmitted infections, condom use and emergency contraception.

The university wanted to be sure to take advantage of this event by encouraging safe sex practices. They wouldn’t want the students to actually believe the university supports this kind of unsafe promiscuity. Do they think this is enough to cover up the message that gets sent out by films such as these?

This same film has already been screened in at least five other universities including the UCLA, Northwestern, and Carnegie Mellon.

UPDATE: Screening Cancelled.

The University of Maryland, College Park, has canceled the screening of the hard-core pornographic film “Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge” after state lawmakers objected and threatened to cut funding to the state university.

The decision was made by University of Maryland President C.D. Mote Jr.

Sen. Andrew P. Harris, a Republican from Baltimore suggested amending the state’s annual budget to deny any funding to a higher education institution that allows a public screening of a film marketed as XXX-rated film unless it is part of an official academic course.

“That’s really not what Maryland residents send their young students to college campus for, to view pornography,” said Miller.

Linda Clement, vice president for student affairs at Maryland, said the decision to cancel the film was her own and based on a variety of factors.

“I think people were concerned about portrayal of women, concerned about violence, concerned about our students and decision-making processes,” she said. “We were losing sight of the educational value that might come from some kind of exercise like this, so it just seemed like the best thing to do.

Did University of Maryland do the right thing to stop the screening?

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