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Let’s talk about sex

Connie Morgan, Staff Reporter - January 17, 2013

Sex. The word alone is enough to attract plenty of attention. Some people are uncomfortable with the topic and others embrace it. The third installment of the Sexpertise lecture series hoped to create a safe environment to discuss the topic of “Sex and Violence in Pop Culture.\"

Cynthia Coe and Melissa Johnson, two professors at CWU lead the discussion with a brief presentation given by Wellness Center representative Lexi Nelson on the Green Dot Program.

Coe began the lecture with the theoretical aspect of sexual violence in pop culture. Coe wanted to know the answer to one question; Why is there so much sexual violence when we are always told by everyone we know that it is bad for everyone?

Coe brought to attention somewhat disturbing statistics about rape cases. This included the U.S. Department of Justice figure that 3% of reported rape cases result in imprisonment. Coe stressed rape acceptance attitudes as a major cause of high rape occurrences.

Further discussion regarding the affect media has on an individual’s perception on what is sexy or acceptable in regards to sexuality.

“We learn what’s sexy from what we see,” Coe said. “We don’t learn from our gut.”
Johnson dove further into media influence. A series of sexually charged ads as well as popular romantic movie scenes littered with sexually violent undertones were shown. Johnson challenged the audience to define consent, define what is sexy and define what is sexually exciting. Johnson was asked what movie she found to be “sexiest.”

“That’s a very charged question,” Johnson said. “The things that attract me are confident characters.”

Johnson went on to say that they were not trying to convince their audience that any certain act was wrong but that it is important to take a serious look at the way “good” sexuality is portrayed in our media and the link it has to violence.

Sexpertise is a monthly lecture that takes place every third Thursday of the month. The next lecture will be held in Barto Hall on February 21st. The lecture will address sexual myths. Topic ideas for future discussions and questions are welcomed and can be made by emailing Melissa Johnson at

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