Sex Week at Yale

Organized originally in 2002 by then Yale College students Eric Rubenstein and Jacqueline Farber, Sex Week at Yale was a biennial event described on its website as "an interdisciplinary sex education program designed to pique students' interest through creative, interactive, and exciting programming". Sex Week at Yale explores love, sex, intimacy and relationships by focusing on how sexuality is manifested in America, helping students to reconcile these issues in their own lives.[1] The week gives students access to professionals both in the classroom and during informal events, including debates, seminars, fashion shows, concerts, and discussions. The events provide students the opportunity to learn about love, sex, intimacy, and relationships from experienced professionals who deal with these issues every day in their professional lives.


In 2002, Eric Rubens approached Jacqueline Farber, head of Student Health Education division of Yale Health Services, which conducted the sexual health orientations for freshmen and which had previously given sexual health talks around Valentine's Day, with the idea of hosting a campus-wide event including guest speakers and other sexual health events. With the Student Health Education's support, other groups, such as the Women's Center and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Co-op, agreed to co-sponsor the project, and Sex Week at Yale was born.[2] The event was composed of talks by a number of Yale professors, a series of talks by Yale's peer health educators, a film festival and a celebrity panel entitled "Sex and Entertainment". Sex Week at Yale takes a multi-disciplinary approach, enlisting a diversity of speakers from company executives, to sex therapists, to professors, clergy, adult film stars, and everyone in between.

In February 2006, nearly 25,000 copies of "Sex Week at Yale: The Magazine" were distributed among 18 of the country's best-known universities, including all schools in the Ivy League.[3] The magazine's contributors included Jim Griffiths, President of the Playboy Entertainment Group, and John Gray.[4] Also in 2006 Yale received a perfect score by Sperling's BestPlaces on the annual Campus Sexual Health Report Card for Trojan; the report noted that Sex Week at Yale "promotes open on-campus discussion of sex and relationships, and makes information about sexual health easily accessible online and through the student health center".[5][6]

In February 2010, Sasha Grey and Joanna Angel were Sex Week at Yale panelists.[7][8] In the fall of 2011, a group of Yale students formed an organization called Undergraduates for a Better Yale College (UBCY), to "...advocate for a better sexual culture, one grounded in genuine respect and self-giving love; to oppose campus attitudes and events that offer a degrading and trivializing vision of sexuality... ."[9] In September 2011, UBCY petitioned the Yale administration to deny Sex Week at Yale support, including the use of classrooms and other university facilities.[10][11]

In 2012, Yale alumnus Nathan Harden published Sex and God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.[12][13] The book was highly critical of Sex Week at Yale, and its title harkened to the criticism of Yale that William F. Buckley, Jr. made in 1951 with his book God and Man at Yale.[14]

In February, 2012, Sex Week was organized by an Executive Board of Directors for the first time in its ten-year history. Directors included seniors Allie Bauer, Paul Holmes, Tatiana Lam, and Courtney Peters and juniors Connie Cho, Alberto Navarro, Anna North, and Leeron Tur-Kaspa. The ten-day program contained over fifty events, all of which were funded by grassroots efforts given the newly imposed restriction on corporate sponsorship.[15]

Other Sex WeeksEdit

Safer Sex Weeks were held at University of Minnesota in February 2014[36] and at Oberlin College in November 2013.[37] The Campus Health Service at Arizona State University held a SexTalk week in February 2013.[38] The University Health Centre of the University of the West Indies, Mona presented a Safer Sex Week on February 12–18, 2012, emphasizing, on different days, the themes of Abstinence, Be faithful, and Condomize.[39]


  1. ^ "An Exploration of Love, Sex, Intimacy, And Relationships at Yale University". 2009. Archived from the original on August 31, 2009.
  2. ^ Rosenbaum, Ron (January–February 2003). "Sex Week at Yale". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  3. ^ " - Yale University magazine to debut at Dartmouth".
  4. ^ "The Magazine – Table of Contents". Archived from the original on October 10, 2007.
  5. ^ "Sexual Health on College Campuses".
  6. ^ Yale Daily News - Univ. earns clean bill of sexual health Archived 2008-02-15 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Hoffman, Kevin (January 30, 2011). "Katherine Kersten's unhealthy fixation on Sasha Grey and Yale Sex Week". City Pages. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  8. ^ Kersten, Katherine (March 6, 2010). "Yale: A great school for curious types". Star Tribune. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  9. ^ "Undergraduates for a Better Yale College". Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  10. ^ Aboutorabi, Bijan; Andino, Eduardo; Marin, Isabel (September 20, 2011). "ABOUTORABI, ANDINO AND MARIN: Change the climate, end Sex Week". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  11. ^ North, Anna (November 11, 2011). "The Real Reason Yale Banned 'Sex Week'". Jezebel. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  12. ^ Harden, Nathan (2012). Sex and God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad. Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 9781250013545. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  13. ^ Rosin, Hanna (August 23, 2012). "An Innocent in the Ivy League". New York Times. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "Sex and God (and pretentiousness) at Yale".
  15. ^ Pinto, Vanessa L. (February 9, 2012). "For Sex Week, Yale University Has to Borrow Several San Franciscans". SF Weekly. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  16. ^ "Sex Week: A Fearless Idea". Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  17. ^ deVise, Daniel. "Should 'Sex Week' worry college leaders?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  18. ^ "Sex Week at Harvard". Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  19. ^ Quenqua, Douglas (April 16, 2012). "On Campus, Opening Up Conversations About Sex". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  20. ^ "Sex Week UT". Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  21. ^ Sisk, Chas (February 28, 2014). "TN lawmakers take another shot at Sex Week". WBIR. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  22. ^ Timpf, Katherine (January 28, 2014). "Public university Sex Week to teach masturbation, when orgasms are a 'political act'". Campus Reform. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  23. ^ Cobb, David (February 23, 2014). "Anti-Sex Week bill would affect UTC, too". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  24. ^ "RENT presented by Sex Week UTK 2014". Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  25. ^ "Sex Week UNC Charlotte". Sex Week UNC Charlotte. Retrieved 2018-02-28.
  26. ^ "UNC-Charlotte, Planned Parenthood sponsor new 'Sex Week'". Campus Reform. 2018-01-12. Retrieved 2018-02-28.
  27. ^ "Brown Sex Week 2013". Archived from the original on 2014-03-12. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  28. ^ a b c Brooks, Margaret (August 29, 2010). "'Sex Week' Should Arouse Caution Most of All". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  29. ^ "Sex Week". Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  30. ^ "Lafayette College Sex Week 2014/". Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  31. ^ "Our Opinion: Let's Talk About Sex (Week)". Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  32. ^ Sims, Amelia (December 2, 2013). "Symposium: Sexuality and Sex Week". Intercollegiate Review. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  33. ^ "Sex Week University Chicago". Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  34. ^ "Why is Sex Week on the Dirty Dozen List?". Morality in Media. Archived from the original on 2014-07-02. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  35. ^ "Sex Week at The Ohio State University". Sex Week at The Ohio State University. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  36. ^ "Safer Sex Week". Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  37. ^ "Oberlin Sexual Information Center Safer Sex Week 2013". Archived from the original on 2014-03-02. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  38. ^ Simon, Sarah-Jayne (February 7, 2013). "SexTalk week educates students about safe sex, abstinence and birth control". The Daily Wildcat. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  39. ^ "Safer Sex Week: TEK charge". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-03-02.

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