The Internet was blowing up the other day over an alleged group sex tape made by students at Florida A&M University. I write about this kind of thing in my book “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College,” since it is a reminder that the decisions you make in college might stay around to haunt you for life. There are plenty of married 30-somethings out there, hoping that their kids never run across a video they made with an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend a few years ago. Video doesn’t go away, even after you’ve grown up. Irresponsible sexual choices get lots of college students in trouble, from incurable venereal diseases to sexual assaults that occur every year. This adds to the long-term effects of binge drinking, which has produced thousands of lifelong alcoholics. College is a great place to get an education, but it is also a great opportunity to ruin your life.
After I started thinking more about the FAMU sex tape incident, which has yet to be either confirmed or denied, I started to realize that there are other ways we can put it into perspective. As a college professor for the past 17 years, let me give you some quick thoughts:
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1) If the video is real, then so what? An alleged pornographic tape made at FAMU says nothing about the quality of the institution. All it says is that (surprise) college students have sex. The fact that this tape may or may not be out there is a result of the poor decisions of a small group of students, not the entire university itself. So, even if the FAMU sex tape is real, the university has no reason to be ashamed.
2) The FAMU sex tape may not actually be real in the first place: A tape isn’t real just because some black people made a porno and said, “Hey, we’re FAMU students!” So, don’t believe the hype until you know that you have more than hype on your hands. Anyone can make a tape and claim to be students at FAMU.
3) Could there be legal ramifications? If indeed it is the case that this tape was made on the FAMU campus with a group of students, I find it highly unlikely that all of the students and the university signed off on the idea of the tape being sold for profit. This could lead to legal action by the university and/or some of the students involved against the website allegedly selling the tape.
When it comes to the crazy story about the FAMU sex tape, it is important that we remember to not overreact. Sex is not a dirty, freaky, forbidden thing that only a few people do. It is a natural, pervasive and (sometimes) beautiful process that is essential to the foundation of human life. Sex is why we exist, so perhaps we should not pretend that it is so terribly taboo. In fact, you wouldn’t be here reading this article were it not for someone else’s decision to have sex at some point in the past. I recommend being educated and intelligent about sex, but getting over the fear of talking about sex in public. So, while the FAMU situation is interesting, let’s not get freaked out about it.