University of New Mexico Fights Sexual Assault–With Sex Week

By Penny Starr | September 30, 2014 | 10:32am EDT

(CNSNews.com) – Sex Week at the University of New Mexico is not supposed to be all fun and games. It’s part of a “larger strategy to reduce sexual violence on campus,” school officials insist, but some students say this is not a good way to get the message across.

The event features “workshops” with deliberately provocative titles, such as, “How to be a Gentleman AND Get Laid,” “Negotiating Successful Threesome,” “O-Face Oral” and “BJs and Beyond,” according to a flier distributed on campus.

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A Sex Week Twitter account announces an oral sex workshop by someone “with a penis” and how to have sex with someone who is infected with the Herpes virus.

The Sex Week events are sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center, Student Health and Counseling Center, the Graduate and Professional Student Association, and others, Dianne Anderson, director of communications at the university, told CNSNews.com via email. 

“It is a series of conversations about healthy sexual relationships for those who chose to participate. It is not a required University training and attendance is completely optional,” she added.

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“Sex Week is part of the Women’s Resource Center’s overall strategy to prevent sexual violence from occurring on campus,” Summer Little, Women’s Resource Center director, told the UNM Newsroom. "We are using controversial titles, and some subject matter, to bring the message to the intended audience." In response to questions from CNSNews.com, Little said, “Our purpose is to provide medically accurate sex education, and information on healthy relationships, consent, healthy communication, as well as respect within relationships.”

Little said the event is consistent with university policy, including “the unfettered flow of ideas,” “freedom of expression,” and “the exchange of diverse viewpoints,” which “may expose people to ideas some find offensive, even abhorrent.”

But Sade Patterson, vice president of Students for Life, said Sex Week runs counter to what the university should be promoting to students.

“Since when has it been a university mission to promote sexual behavior that can and often results in STDs and unplanned pregnancies?” Patterson told CNSNews.com. “This is a concern to students who care about the well-being of others, because we do not see this event as shaping students into responsible, future-oriented adults.

“The University of New Mexico claims to strive to ‘educate and encourage students to develop the values, habits of mind, knowledge and skills that they need to be enlightened citizens…and lead satisfying lives,’ but the evidence is not being displayed through events like these that are leading students into irresponsible actions and lifestyles,” Patterson said.

“Our university should be promoting higher education and values -- not sex and the objectification of women,” she added.

“We are deeply disappointed in the turn this university has taken for the worse,” Patterson said.

Several of the workshops are being led by Reid Mihalko, a self-described “sex and relationship role model.”

On his Twitter account, Mihalko boasts about protests to Monday night’s workshop “How To Be a Gentleman AND Get Laid,” which opened with a reception entitled “Todo Sobre Ogasmos” – “All About Orgasm.”

His tweet reads: Tonight's @UNM #SexEd talk, sponsored by @UNMWRC@SelfServeToys , has protestors and my talk now has 4 police officers in attendance!

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