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Sex and God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad Hardcover – August 21, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312617909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312617905
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,088,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Referencing young William F. Buckley’s career-launching critique of liberalism, God and Man at Yale (1951), and even employing Buckley’s son, Christopher, for the introduction (Buckley fils does seem to be squirming here), young Harden (Yale, 2009) is shocked—shocked!—that a paragon among American higher-education institutions is so distracted by the notion of sex. His focus is on Yale’s biennial Sex Week, which, funded largely by such corporate interests as sex-toy maker Pure Romance, appears to hold students (and administrators?) in absolute thrall. Harden makes some important points here—the (further) corporatization of American universities and the objectification of women being two examples— but he delivers them with so little grace or wit that readers might be tempted to just stop caring. Still, interest in Yale and in sex might bring an audience. Look for Harden to show up as a conservative commentator on cable news, further advancing his brand, but it might not be pretty. --Alan Moores


A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice Pick!

"A fierce expose of the sexual culture of one of America’s great universities."

—David Frum, contributor for CNN, Newsweek, and The Daily Beast; author of The Right Man and The End to Evil

“The ideology of sexual liberation that is the lasting legacy of ‘Me generation’ liberalism and its imbecilic doctrine of ‘if it feels good do it,’ has hardened into an orthodoxy on college campuses around the country. Not only is it uncritically embraced by many students, it is supported by a great many faculty members and abetted and even promoted in a variety of ways by academic administrators. In the spirit of the late William F. Buckley, Nathan Harden takes a hard, critical look at the prevalent sexual liberationist dogmas at Yale, exploring their damaging effects on the educational enterprise and their often tragic consequences in the lives of students.”
—Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University

"This startling dispatch from a talented young writer will shame Yale, if the Yale he describes is even capable of feeling shame. Nathan Harden's memoir is a 21st-century sequel to Bill Buckley's God and Man at Yale and its lesson is simple: Don't send your daughters to New Haven."
—John J. Miller, National Review national correspondent, Wall Street Journal contributor, author of The Big Scrum and Our Oldest Enemy

"Only a college administrator could love the sexual playgrounds doubling as America's elite colleges. And only Nathan Harden can give our priapic ivory tower the softoff it deserves. His insight is penetrating; his wit hits the spot; he lands a thousand blows. Most erotic commentators are lucky to make it to third base. With Sex and God at Yale, Harden scores a walk-off grand slam."
—James Poulos, Daily Caller columnist and Forbes contributor

"Hats off to Nathan Harden for exposing the shameful truth about how some of our nation's finest universities have allowed themselves to become cesspools of perversion. Instead of teaching young people moral values and principles, "progressive" faculty and administrators actively promote moral degeneracy and perversion among the leaders of tomorrow."
—Carol Swain, PhD, Professor of Political Science & Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University

“The press has always primly averted its eyes from Sex Week at Yale, reporting only the barest of details from this trashy parade of porn stars and sex toy peddlers, lest it be deemed disapproving or prudish.  For its part, the Yale administration has hidden behind the claim that it had no responsibility for the student-organized event (a claim that was always patently false), and that it was obligated to allow the conference to proceed on free speech grounds. 

Now Nathan Harden reveals that Sex Week is far more grotesque than anyone outside a university could have imagined.  Worse, Yale’s eagerness to promote “glorious sex” among its students, as one bureaucrat put it, goes far beyond the sanctioning of Sex Week.    Sex and God at Yale is a jaw-dropping account of one university’s loss of moral compass.  Yale has forgotten its mission: to expose students to the most beautiful and challenging creations of human thought, and to confer on them knowledge.  Facility in the use of a cock ring is not the type of knowledge which universities are uniquely capable of providing.  Unfortunately, Yale’s abdication of adult authority is thoroughly typical of college administrations today.  If there are any parents out there who still care about what their children are actually learning in college, this book will alert them to the travesties of higher learning likely occurring at their own child’s school.”
—Heather Mac Donald, a John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 98 people found the following review helpful By vjmccarley on August 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In light of the controversy surrounding this book, it is necessary to understand that although much of the content describes the administration-sanctioned debauchery of Sex Week at Yale (ironically abbreviated SWAY) the mind-numbingly vile, but necessary, details are but a springboard to what this book is really about: the loss of moral leadership and direction and the devaluation of human life that come from the introduction of the high-sounding, seemingly progressive concepts of moral relativism, multiculturalism, and political correctness into institutions and societies determined to cast off their religious and patriotic heritage as passe and irrelevant. It's about selling out, about the prostitution of a once outstanding educational institution to make money. There is more at stake here than first meets the reader's eye. This book clearly shines a light on a primary reason our country is rapidly losing what made it a world power in years past.

If the descriptions of the sex lectures and demonstrations make you blanch, if smut and pornography make you blush, skim through these passages. Do not decide not to read this book because of these chapters. They are the but the backdrop of the important final chapters, a clarion call to Yale and to everyone interested in the preservation of human dignity and freedom and in keeping America "the land of the free and the home of the brave."
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53 of 63 people found the following review helpful By C. W. on October 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I obtained Mr Harden's book based on a review I read. Being the father of two daughters that graduated from university several years ago, as well as taking at least one class a year and regularly working with undergrad and graduate students, I already knew some about the hypersexualised culture that is becoming welcomed on many of our campuses. What I was not prepared for was the level of depravity that is being presented and encouraged. As I read the book my emotions went from outrage to nausea to, in the end, profound sadness at the realisation of the damage these young people were being subjected to without their even realising it. The author is spot on in his criticisms of the university and their failure to exercise good leadership and allowing the lies of the sex industry to be promoted as healthy and liberating. Porn is degrading to women and men, causes problems in relationships, contributes to break-up and divorce, contributes to the development of paraphilias, and is addictive. More than one sexual sadist, serial rapist, and serial killer began with fantasies and the use of violent porn before discovering that their appetites could no longer be satisfied with fantasy. In addition, the overwhelming majority of porn reinforces the idea that women are objects that exist for the purpose of gratifying a man's sexual desires. Over 5 years ago continuing ed. workshops for mental health workers in my state began to feature tracks on treating internet porn addiction. The simple truth the author provides is that not all cultures and values are equal. Right and wrong do exist independent of humankind's wants and desires. As a society we ignore these facts at our own peril. This is a book worth reading.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By BT Invictus on May 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If Amazon and Goodreads reviews offer any measure of a book's success--or lack thereof--I'd say that Nathan Harden's book God, Sex and Yale: Porn, Political Correctness and a Good Education Gone Bad has been something of a failure. Despite having been reviewed prominently on The New York Times in the summer of 2012 and subsequently listed as an "Editor's Choice" for the Sunday Book Review, it remains largely unread and somewhat maligned. But why should it do poorly? Nathan Harden is intelligent and winsome and his argument is persuasive. Instead of taking his book seriously, many readers find ample reason to dismiss it as a "conservative rant" bent on promoting uptight, sexually stifling, patriarchal values.

I didn't find it to be a rant--rants usually aren't thoughtful and logical, as this book is. And, while the author is traditional in some sense of the word (he believes in God and was married before he entered Yale), I didn't find the book to be "conservative" in any stereotypical way. His argument is largely a feminist one, and the treatment of young women at Yale is one of his chief concerns in writing this book. So, because I liked both the book and its author, I'll do my best to throw in my vote for him.

Harden's goal in God, Sex and Yale is to expose what he believes to be Yale's pernicious, exploitative and commercial sexual culture, as he encountered it as a student a half decade or so ago. Because Yale is responsible for educating future leaders and because it is a trend-setter for many other academic institutions, Harden believes his argument has far reaching implications, not just for Yale students, but for our society as a whole.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on February 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is such important book. It exposes the utter collapse of morality among our elite universities, with consequences for our future that are sure to be dramatic.

The notorious Sex Week at Yale is a feast of sex toys, lectures on orgasms, porn stars, porn of all kinds, and books such as "Tickle His Pickle" (p 14). Pundits holding naked parties! And then there's the Yale Daily News "front page full-color photo of a smiling freshman clutching a pair of anal beads" (p 11).

Say goodbye to that freshman's chances of being president.

Look, in fifty years' time, culture can do a 180. Hogarth's debauched London became Victoria's prudish London. An American culture that favored marriage in 1955 has become the culture with an over 50% illegitimacy rate among young women under 30.

As anyone who has ever set foot in an elite university can tell you, what passes for culture is the completely hookup culture, drunken parties, and the occasional suicide. And for this you have to pay them sixty thousand dollars a year.

"Women now outnumber men 57 to 43 percent in our universities...College guys reject young women who press for emotional commitment, because easy, commitment-free hookups can easily be found down the hall" (p 148). Feminist professors, I can assure you as one woman who endured a great many feminist professors, insist this is empowering.

There's plenty of sex, but no pregnant women walking the halls. There are plenty of parties, but no love to be found at our elite universities, and this in a world where, as Roger Scruton says, only love brings happiness. "Naked parties are a mainstream social activity at Yale...
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More About the Author

Nathan Harden is a musician, writer, and commentator on issues ranging from politics and culture to sexuality and the media.

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Sex and God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad
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