In College and Hiding from Scary Ideas: Do university students need cookies and Play-Doh to deal with the trauma of alternative opinions?

Being forced to attend classes where you have to be reminded everyday of your traumatic experiences isn't right.

I'm not even fully against trigger warnings, but I have to note you are not being forced to attend anything. I have never seen a syllabus that doesn't warn students ahead of time if a class covers potentially offensive material. I assure you, you can get through college without having to engage with sexual assault as a classroom topic. You will miss out on a number of interesting classes, but you can fulfill those GECs with alternatives.

I also want to note that a good number of topics in the humanities and social sciences (both being subjects that deal with the human experience) cannot be covered without touching on something that will trigger someone. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, sexual and non-sexual assault, murder, war, disease, etc. have been a part of human society for a long time--pretending they haven't is academically irresponsible and frankly, unethical.

Problems with society can only be dealt with by facing them head on, not by pretending they don't exist. You yourself are stating that rape culture is a problem, which I don't disagree with--do you think the way we stop rape culture is simply not ever mentioning rape? Do you think the way we bring society around to understanding the issue is by simply stating that what we say is correct, and shutting down any probing or dissension? Stating "I'm right, you're wrong" is not the way that academic inquiry is done, nor is it the way that minds are changed.

Furthermore, if you have read the literature on triggers, they can in fact be quite random and extend far beyond simple mentions of sexual assault. For example, I have fairly severe thanatophobia following a string of deaths in my family. I cannot read an article about cremation techniques without feeling very ill, but I can watch a gory horror movie (the less realistic and flatter the characters, the better, but the point still stands).

I am also triggered by discussions of deep space and the eventual death of the universe. Why? I don't know. I loved astronomy before my family members died, and now I can't touch it. But I didn't petition to have astronomy removed from the curriculum, nor did I take it and then ask to be excused (for full credit!) when those topics came up. I took a different science course to fulfill that credit.

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