Facebook, Carrie Bradshaw & the Student Sex Column Boom

Late last week, I appeared as a featured guest on “RadioActive!”, a public affairs program on Salt Lake City’s KRCL.  The topic of discussion: students and sex, sex, sex, with some student press controversy thrown in.

Thanks to the power of a paid Skype account, I chatted from Singapore (where I’m leading some j-workshops over semester break) with host Tamrika Khvtsiashvili about everything from Jerry Springer, Carrie Bradshaw, and the final evolution of feminism to the death of dating and why I believe Bill Clinton and Facebook helped contribute to the college newspaper sex column boom.

Also appearing on the show were San Francisco State University’s Christopher White, the Director of Education and Training for the National Sexuality Resource Center; and Kieran Lyons, the co-editor of Rice University’s sex-themed Open Magazine.

Given the station’s location, an event of sexual proportions that was of especially high interest to the host: the Utah drop-cappers saga.  For those who do not recall, last May, administrators at the University of Utah threatened to hold the academic records and degrees of nine soon-to-graduate senior staffers at The Daily Utah Chronicle.

The reason: A series of columns run in the newspaper’s goodbye issue that overtly spelled the words ‘penis’ and ‘c*nt’ via the bolded drop-caps starting each column. The school said the editors had violated school rules, calling the wordplay an “intentional disruption or obstruction” of university activities.  Ultimately, the administrators’ threats proved hollow. The students’ degrees were awarded on time.

For a full rundown on how sex has revolutionized student journalism over the past decade, check out my book.  (Chances are, your student publication or school is included.)

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