More blather in the NYTimes about an earthshaking development at Princeton University! They must have a stringer working there (see earlier post about college student gambling). After all, a good portion of their readership is dying to see their children go to college there, or someplace like it. “Hey, Joe! It’s college rejection season! Got any news from the Ivy Tower? Well, get on it, bud!!”
Now we have an article about the Anscombe Society at PU, a group of students pledging themselves to sexual abstinence outside of marriage in the face of the raging hormones and the pornographic image culture of contemporary teen and post-teen life. Their spokesman says that “Sex is between people, not objects,” and that the “random hook-up scene is degrading to men and women.” [Quoted from memory.] Well said – couldn’t agree with him more! But as Tina Turner might have sung,
“What’s abstinence got to do with it, got to do with it..?”
Is it possible to have sex within a caring and meaningful relationship outside of marriage? These kids think not. That’s their business, and I can’t fault them for it, but I can fault the NYTimes for its silly article that didn’t address any of the real issues here, e.g., why this group comes now (yes, they are almost all conservative Republicans and religious), have their ever been similar groups? Why they feel that wine and cheese parties with free condoms constitute an invitation to random sex when for some students it might be the first time that they were provoked to think honestly and clearly about sex in the presence of adults. Instead, the Times focused on the “People just can’t believe that we are saying this at an Ivy League school!” aspect. Huh, what is that?
Anyway, we have David Brooks telling us a few days ago that in the face of our commercial sex-fest, young people are actually quite reasonable and wholesome, and we have evangelicals ranting about the fleshpot that our country has become. I’d like to know what’s really going on in the minds of teenagers – I don’t pretend to know. I mean, statistically, not just what the ones I talk with. Lower teen pregnancy rates – is out-of-wedlock sex declining? Is oral sex rampant as some claim? Have teens caught on to birth control and safe-sex? Do we just talk differently, more openly, and more crudely? about all of this stuff.
On a related note, the much touted claim that 50% of all marriages in the USA end in divorce is now dismissed as poor statistics by experts…so, it’s pretty hard to know just what is going on.