"Trigger warnings" have a years-long, storied history on America's college campuses, despite recent studies showing they do not work.
A recent Harvard study found “no evidence” that trigger warnings are helpful, and that they, in fact, may harm actual trauma survivors because they “countertherapeutically reinforce survivors' view of their trauma as central to their identity.”
A similar 2018 study found that trigger warnings actually increase anxiety and “emotional vulnerability.”
[RELATED: Most college grads say campus climate prevents them from expressing beliefs]
Despite studies showing they do not work, professors and students alike have used trigger warnings for years to warn the world about any potentially disturbing content, inside and outside of the classroom.
Last year, NYU professor Nirit Gordon published an essay titled, “Trigger warnings and the unformulated experience,” in which she urged her colleagues to adopt the use of trigger warnings, claiming they were “imperative” to the classroom.
Gordon argued that criticisms of trigger warnings are rooted in societal pressure to “dissociate” from emotions.
“It could be argued that the debate here is about psychic fragility of college students who refuse to confront issues,” Gordon conceded, but asserted that trigger warning skepticism is actually the result of “the fear of instructors to permit the personal to enter the classroom.”
She also implied that opposition to such warnings were misogynistic because “emotional proclivities are equated with femininity.”
[RELATED: Harvard study: 'No evidence' trigger warnings help, may actually hurt trauma survivors]
In 2016, NPR conducted a survey revealing that 51 percent of college professors admitted to having used trigger warnings in their courses. Of those, 3.4 percent claimed that they had been asked to do so by students. None of these professors said they could remember a time when a student decided to opt-out of a lesson to avoid potentially triggering content.
The trend extends outside of the classroom, with some colleges requiring students to warn others ahead of time before participating in certain types of speech.
With the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom, Students for Life of America sued the Miami University of Ohio in late 2017 for requiring
Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=13462