The University of Maryland's student union planned to have a representative from Planned Parenthood talk about safe sex. Following the screening at UCLA in December, members of the cast and the director answered students' questions, some of which pertained to the exploitation of women.
Some 850 people attended the film at UCLA and about 650 stayed for the question and answer session that followed, said Alex Jeffries, director of the Campus Events Commission's film program.
Jeffries said the students in attendance found the film "mostly comedic" and were "laughing and cheering."
"The staff screened it before, and we didn't think it was out of bounds," Jeffries said. "It was pretty typical as porn goes, not extreme or violent. Pretty much everyone in attendance knew what they were getting into. We had added security there checking IDs to make sure everyone was over 18."
A group of UCLA students affiliated with the Christian groups Campus Crusade for Christ and the International Justice Mission mounted a small protest, both online in the weeks prior to the event and then on campus outside the theatre.
"Our opposition wasn't because we see ourselves as self-righteous Christians," said John Book, the director of Campus Crusade at UCLA. "We didn't think this movie was good for the community."
Members launched a Facebook petition, attempted to buy up tickets to keep others from attending the film and held a small prayer vigil outside the theatre, he said.
"As a campus minister for 12 years, I have met a ton of students addicted to porn," he said. "It damages relationships with people. It is isolating. It breaks up marriages. I have seen devastation in this community as a result of pornography."
On Thursday, UC Davis became the most recent school to show "Pirates II."
According to Digital Playground, the film, one of the few of its type directed by a woman, has already been screened at UCLA, Northwestern University, Carnegie Mellon, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Southern Connecticut State University.
Tulane University is also planning a screening, according to the company.
At the University of Maryland, news that the screening had been canceled was met with mixed reviews.
"I was going to check it out," said 19-year-old freshman Evan McQuirns. "There was no real opposition to the film on campus. I'm surprised the state Senate stepped in."
Liz Iavolino, a 19-year-old sophomore and a member of the student group Feminism Without Borders, said she was opposed to the screening on campus, but was more outraged that the school bowed to pressure from politicians.
"I'm not an advocate of porn at all, and I don't like it," she said. "Generally, I think it's a bad idea. I think it's exploitative and objectifies women. This film would not have had a huge effect on campus. It is not the state's job to dictate morality."
Despite the timing, Millree Williams, a university spokesman, denied the school canceled the film in response to threats from the state capital.
"We realized today that this film was not serving the education purpose we thought it would," he said.