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Upcoming events and current media coverage relating to sex work and sex workers.

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Pastor Craig Gross and porn star Nina Hartley met Thursday evening in the Student Center to debate the merits and demerits of pornography in front of 450 students.

The event, hosted by the Kennesaw Activities Board, was initially supposed to feature porn star Ron Jeremy, who is recovering from recent operations to correct an aneurysm near his heart.

Gross asked porn actress Nina Hartley to stand in. He and Hartley debated the event once before.

Gross is the founder of xxxchurch.com, a website dedicated to helping people overcome pornography addictions. He started the website after realizing that many of the people he knew struggled with porn in their personal lives.

He and Ron Jeremy started The Great Porn Debate about five years ago, and the two began touring the country speaking at churches and universities.

The stereotype that female porn stars are "damaged goods" who have experienced sexual abuse as a child is inaccurate, according to a new study.

In fact, porn actresses have higher levels of self-esteem, positive feelings, social support, sexual satisfaction and spirituality, according to the study "Pornography Actresses: An Assessment of the Damaged Goods Hypothesis."

However, stereotypes regarding the actors' current sexuality are true, according to the study, which compared the self-reports of 177 porn actresses and was published in the Journal of Sex Research. The study found that porn actresses were more likely to identify as bisexual, have had sex at an early age, had more sexual partners, were more concerned about contracting STD's and enjoyed sex more than the matched sample.

The study has several co-authors, including former porn actress Sharon Mitchell and Texas Woman's University professor Christian L Hart.

However, a HuffPost blogger and former porn actress, Jennie Ketcham, would refute the study's claim that porn actresses have more "positive feelings." She blogged for the New York Times earlier this month that being a porn star was traumatic, and she experienced symptoms similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder after leaving the industry.

Young people are taking up pole dancing, escort work and prostitution to help fund their studies as the cost of higher education soars.

The work has been fuelled by an expansion of the lap dancing industry as well as increasing opportunities for anonymous sex work through the internet.

In some cases students are thought to be signing up to a website that connects students with businessmen seeking “discreet adventures” and prepared to pay them for varying levels of sexual intimacy.

Young women can reportedly earn up to £15,000 a year through this work to help fund their studies.

University of Leeds research found a quarter of lap dancers had a degree and a third of the women spoken to for the study were taking on lap dancing work to help fund training in other professions.

Forget student debt; some concerned citizens think the real problem plaguing undergrads today is the "porn curriculum" currently infiltrating mainstream colleges like dildo-wielding guerrilla combatants.

TheBlaze is all aflutter about a "fascinating new report" from World on Campus covering the "phenomenon" of "porn curriculum":

The term refers to explicit material that is making its way into America's college and university classrooms. While the notion may seem too bizarre to be true, some experts claim that there is, indeed, an influx of pornography being integrated into secular professors' curricula.

An influx?! To think we were once worried about an anthrax outbreak. Yep, cover your eyes and ears, folks: some students at NYU have read pornographic comic books for a course called "Anthropology of the Unconscious." (Gasp!) Bates has offered a class called "Doing it, Getting it, Seeing it, Reading it," which focuses on the difference between erotica and pornography. Wesleyan, never a college to be outdone in terms of subversiveness, once offered a course called "Pornography: Writings of Prostitutes" which asked students to make and thoughtfully explain their own pornography projects for the final. As a result, everyone in Middletown, Connecticut now has AIDS and approximately six abortions per year.

Sorry, conservatives, but you can't blame Obama for the "porn curriculum": people have been freaking out about X-rated college classes for over a decade. A 2006 Time piece even references some of the same courses as does this "fascinating new report." Of course, that doesn't stop people like Rick Schatz, President and CEO of PUREHOPE (can hope be unpure?), an organization "dedicated to fighting sexual exploitation and brokenness" (aka broken hymens), from claiming that these classes have no merit. "Instead of actually studying the legal, political and moral issues associated with porn, the vast majority of these courses are validating it and showing addictive pornography to students, even requiring them to produce it," he said. "There's absolutely no academic basis for that type of course."

An American study has found that people are most likely to search online for pornography in winter or early summer, suggesting that sex and mating behaviours are seasonal.

Researchers at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, led by Dr Patrick Markey, found keyword searches over the past five years relating to dirty images and movies had clear peaks and troughs, recurring at six-month cycles.

The same was found for internet searches relating to prostitution, according to American magazine, The Atlantic.

Interestingly, mainstream dating websites also experience the same spike in search traffic as pornographic sites.

But there was no such pattern for non-sexual words, which were tested as a control group, the Daily Mail reported.

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