“Sex-funded porn”: University of Montana Kaimin’s sex column

A sex column in the University of Montana Kaimin, its student-run newspaper, is the brunt of attacks by a couple professors on campus, one of whom has demanded its cessation.  Bess Davis’ “Bess Sex Column” has been targeted as “state-funded porn”, though its author would label it “vanilla” compared to the sex columns of other university newspapers. According to the Helena IR, Kristen Juras, a law professor who has attacked the paper, said “she is not against a sex column in the Kaimin. She understands the students’ First Amendment rights provided under the U.S. Constitution and would welcome a column that is about healthy sexuality.”

“Healthy” is the operative word here, and one that is highly subjective.  What constitutes healthy sexuality?  Each individual answers this question differently.  Davis’ column, geared at adults, is certainly not obscene, it merely presents a different point of view regarding sexuality than that of Juras.


That a newspaper column – about sex, politics, religion or any other topic – stirs controversy while offering an opinion (even if the opinion is unpopular) is not reason enough to obstruct its publication.  The key issue here is not the censoring of sexual opinion as the attack of journalistic freedom itself.  It would be no less problematic to demand that a political column only present a particular point of view than to demand of a sex column reflects a specific view of what “healthy” sexuality is.

UM President George Dennison has said, “I don’t want to get involved in a situation of censorship.”  Then don’t, Mr. Dennison.  We recommend that you continue to support the editorial staff of the Kaimin in their effort to make the most informed and professional decisions regarding its publication and the sensibilities of its targeted readers: the students.

About Blog of the National Coalition Against Censorship

Blogging Censorship is where National Coalition Against Censorship staff weigh in on the censorship issues on their minds.
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