No Longer Sexiled: Universities Grapple with Sex in Dorms


When Tufts University
officially banned students from having sex in residence hall room when a
roommate is present, it met with two especially strong reactions. Many are glad
the administration finally spoke up about an especially awkward occurrence and
pleased for the added bit of leverage in managing it. Others are skeptical,
doubting that any official policy will deter those who are already prone to
shrugging off the norms of social etiquette.

Tufts
University’s Office of Residential Life indicated to The
Tufts Daily
, the campus newspaper, that the new policy was the result
of a large increase in the number of complaints about sexual activity in shared
rooms. The new stipulation to the campus guest policy not only prohibits sex
when a roommate is present, but sex that interferes with the roommate’s
sleeping, studying, and privacy — an addition that, presumably, is intended to
address "sexiling," or compelling someone to leave a shared room.

As Tufts takes this broad
step in balancing students’ right to sexual activity with their right to
private space, colleges across the country are watching to see how it plays out.

"There’s no doubt that
people working in students services across the country will be paying attention
to what happens (given this new policy) at Tufts and asking questions about it
at conferences over the next year," said Melanie McClellan, dean of students at
the University of West Georgia.

McClellan is interested
in how this policy unfolds at Tufts even though-or, perhaps, especially
because-UWG does not have a counterpart ban on intimacy in residence hall rooms
when a roommate is present.

"Conflict about sex in a
room is not nearly as common a conflict as those that have been around forever,
like housekeeping and different sleep schedules," McClellan said of the UWG
campus in Carrollton, Georgia, where about 3,000 students live in various
housing arrangements.

She added that, "If that
particular complaint is an issue (between roommates), then it’s certainly not
the only issue."

In lieu of a standard
policy, UWG student services staff is trained to support campus residents as
they learn how to communicate about sometimes uncomfortable and personal
subjects. Freshmen students participate in a seminar over the fall semester
that helps them adjust to the sort of negotiations that are peculiar to the
college experience. Peer education occurs in residence halls through sexual
health organizations, designed to develop the judgment skills of students.

Tufts’ Office of
Residential Life has told The Tufts Daily
that the new policy isn’t intended to be a proscription that eliminates the
need for building healthy communication between roommates; rather, it is
intended to facilitate the communication.

"We want to make
perfectly clear that we do not want to hinder someone from engaging in any
personal or private activity," said Carrie Ales-Rich, the office’s
assistant director for community and judicial affairs, to the campus newspaper.
"But when it becomes uncomfortable for the roommate, we want to have
something in place that empowers the residents to have a good conversation with
the roommate."

That’s a point that resonates
with J. Bruce Daley.

Daley, a writer from
Denver who attended Tufts between 1976 and 1980, is someone who had sex in a
dorm room while his roommate was present. 
Coming from a military academy background, Daley believes that strong
policies prohibiting sexual activity in shared rooms would have deterred him
from doing something he regrets.

"I will never forget
the look on my roommate’s face the next morning," Daley said. "I
could see that he felt his privacy had been violated … He transferred schools
after our freshmen year and has spent the rest of his life living in Asia. I am
not saying this experience is what caused him to do this. Just saying.

"It’s not something I am
proud of now, but … policies like this need to be enforced to protect students
from their own bad judgment," he added.

Because young people are
prone to making mistakes, Daley said that he believes Tufts is right in
maintaining a ban on dorm room sex when a roommate is present.

"I think (the new
policy is) necessary," Daley said. "Medical research is showing that
at 18, the human mind is not fully developed. Guidelines like these are not
going to prevent college students from having sex, but they may help prevent
some students from making careless, thoughtless mistakes."

But across town at
Harvard University, senior Lena Chen wonders about the motivations behind the
Tufts policy.

"I don’t know if the Tufts rule was prompted by students’
unwillingness to talk directly with their roommates about this, but I think
it’s important to encourage young people to have frank discussions of
potentially awkward topics like dorm sex," said Chen, who blogs at SexAndTheIvy.com and lived on campus for
three years.

"College is a good time
to practice how to negotiate your personal space and interpersonal needs," Chen
added. "It’s easy to let a lot of things slide in hopes of avoiding conflict,
but being passive aggressive only leads to built-up resentments and poor
communication skills in the long run. I hope an official policy doesn’t
dissuade Tufts students from learning how to address touchy issues like this on
their own."

This is a point that
resonates with Sean Cook, who worked in residential life for about 15 years. He
left his position at Penn State this fall to work professionally as a life
coach specializing in the college experience for parents and students. From his
perspective, he has seen an upward trend in college students’ reluctance to
communicate honestly and fairly with roommates-especially on issues as personal
as sex.

"Many people deal with [an]
awkward situation by not discussing it at all," Cook said, noting that many
more young people today have never shared a room in their lives, and so aren’t
accustomed to negotiating shared space.

Indeed, Cook has seen sex used as a weapon between roommates.

"Basically (having sex
when a roommate is present) is sometimes a passive aggressive way to get rid of
the roommate, not just that night but for good," Cook said. "This is inappropriate
behavior that some use as a trump card because it’s not easily mediated (by a
resident advisor)."

On Penn State’s campus,
freshmen simply don’t have single rooms and while there is no official ban on
sexual activity when a roommate is present, the campus requires students to
have the permission of their roommate when they want to bring a guest over.
Cook said the tactic of having sex when the roommate is present can push
student services staff into separating roommates-and so, in effect, offering private
space as a reward.

He noted that some
schools view this issue as sexual harassment; that is, it creates a persistent
and hostile environment for the roommate. Students have threatened to bring
lawsuits about this, Cook said, when a school seems to be "failing to address
the issue." Legally, then, these schools feel compelled to respond in a prompt
and decisive way.

Often, the first time
Cook would hear about conflict between roommates was when a parent called him.

"When a parent is calling
and the student isn’t, that’s the wrong person," Cook said. "It seems like
there’s more and more of a customer service mentality (when it comes to the
college experience); parents want their kids to go to school and not be
bothered by anyone. But a good education is not just about grades."

An emphasis on learning
positive communication is also important to Erin Elias, who was a resident
advisor at Syracuse University and has since worked as a sexual health educator
in Massachusetts. In her first years as a college student living on campus, she
said that she and her roommates were respectful about guests and privacy … but
as an RA, she became more aware of the challenges other roommates face.

"A few (students) would come to me, frustrated with a
roommate who monopolized the room," said Elias. "But this
‘monopolizing’ could be their roommate having sex in the dorm room, or
even just having a roommate who was up all night, talking on the phone. 

"This is why the root of
this ban should focus on roommate communication rather than just banning the
activities that cause problems between roommates," Elias said.

"Roommates should understand and discuss how their
sexual relationships with others affect their living situation with their
roommate; there should be more talking, more middle ground, and more mutual
understanding," Elias added.

For many students,
that’s easier said than done, perhaps. But many others — even most others-do
find a balance with their roommates.

Colleen is a sophomore at
the University of Wisconsin in Madison who asked that her real name not be
used. She said that she communicates about bringing guests over through texts
during a night out; living this year with her best friend, she feels that their
communication is open and understanding.

"To be honest, it’s
normal when roommates are "sexiled" and no one thinks anything weird
or abnormal about it," Colleen said.

She added that campus
environment that is supportive of healthy sexuality contributes to a positive
environment for students living in residence halls.

"At UW – Madison we have a
pretty active campus that’s open with sex and if you are going to do it, do it
safely," Colleen said. "We openly embrace our gay and lesbian community and
there are constant talks about how to make sex safe so I think there’s a pretty
positive atmosphere here about a healthy atmosphere in residence halls."

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  • grayduck

    If pro-choice people really do want to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, why do they have no problem with this type of behavior other than it being a possible breach of social etiquette?

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • harry834

    we want to reduce unintended pregnancies using the full range of modern methods that help people avoid pregnancy without having to give up sex. This is what true choice is about, having options. Everyone since ancient times knows that stopping sex will stop pregnancies. We live in the 21st century where modern medicine has ways that allow sexually active individuals to avoid pregnancy and STIs.

    And this is why we, unlike conservatives, don’t scorn the idea of young adults having sex. We don’t necessarilly want them doing it – there are reasons why we might want college freshmen not to start cohabiting their first year. BUT we, the pro-choicers, are open-minded and where conservatives would paint this story as wrong, wrong, wrong, we are putting it up for discussion.

    Pro-choicers talk about sex, the good and the bad. Conservatives condemn it.

  • soclosetolife

    1.Human nature is sexual. Human nature has always been sexual. Human nature will (probably) always be sexual (barring evolution into asexual reproductive techniques). Recognizing that is the first step to understanding why the pro-choice crowd does not condemn sexuality.

     

    2.Pro-choice in regards to abortion means that one feels a woman has a right to choose an abortion. Pro-choice in regards to reproductive justice means that one feels a person has a right to an informed choice regarding what happens to themselves in the spectrum of sexual activities. What this means is that pro-choicers want comprehensive sexual education. We want open communication to exist about sex. We want women and men to be able to express without shame their sexual desires. We want women to be able to experience pregnancy on their own terms. 

     

    Question: Why does the pro-choice crowd not condemn sexuality in college student?

    Answer: Because condemning sexuality denies an essential component of human existence (See 1.)  and does nothing to promote the kind of informed sex-positive society we hope to create (See 2.).

  • prochoiceferret

    If pro-choice people really do want to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, why do they have no problem with this type of behavior other than it being a possible breach of social etiquette?

    Because pro-choice people know that there are better ways of reducing the number of unintended pregnancies than passive-aggressively (and futilely) arguing that human beings shouldn’t be having non-procreative sex in the first place.

  • solidground33

    GrayDuck is looking at this article from a very narrow perspective. Sex in dorm rooms is not automatically a prochoice vs. prolife issue. You can be extremely uncomfortable with the idea of your roommate having sex while you’re present (or uncomfortable with sex in the dorm room period)and be a hardcore prochoice activist at the same time. You can practice abstinence and be prochoice. Being prochoice just means that you are willing to allow women to have a choice over what to do with their bodies– it doesn’t mean you have to go out and have an abortion or have sex yourself.

    Unintended pregnancies occur most often when people don’t plan to have sex. They try to practice abstinence and fail, or don’t know about how to have safe sex and so don’t, or they do it on the spur of the moment and don’t have protection available. The point of unintended pregnancies is that they are just that-unintended. This “type of behavior,” as soclosetolife said, is natural- it is unnatural for most human beings to not have sex or not want to have sex, unless they are asexual. Sex in general is natural- which is why all of nature’s creatures do it. The benefit humans have is that they can plan ahead and thus be sexually active and not get pregnant or contract STDs.

  • wildthing

    The dorms should have some love room like the love hotels in Japan or something.

  • grayduck

    Harry834 on January 6, 2010 – 9:31pm: "We live in the 21st century where modern medicine has ways that allow sexually active individuals to avoid pregnancy and STIs."

     

    How can you reconcile that assertion with the fact that no form of contraception- including sterilization- is foolproof?

     

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

     

    "…we want to reduce unintended pregnancies using the full range of modern methods that help people avoid pregnancy without having to give up sex. This is what true choice is about, having options."

     

    Then what is the problem with students having sex in residence hall rooms when a roommate is present? A policy that bans such behavior forces students to give up sex and removes options from people, so I fail to perceive the relevant distinction.

     

    "And this is why we…don’t scorn the idea of young adults having sex."

     

    Let us assume for the sake of responding to this sentence that contraception was one-hundred percent effective. Why are you only concerned about whether a roommate might be bothered by an act of sex and not concerned about any other possible consequences of a sexual act? For example, why are you unconcerned about whether the sex act was consensual or whether the young man was willing to support the mother and child if the sex act resulted in pregnancy? Both of those are possible negative consequences of irresponsible sexual behavior and both can result in the woman being denied the full choice of options when she becomes pregnant.

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • prochoiceferret

    How can you reconcile that assertion with the fact that no form of contraception- including sterilization- is foolproof?

    Oh, it’s real easy! You just have to see the value in mitigating risks, even if they cannot be eliminated entirely. After all, seat belts and air bags aren’t foolproof against the risk of dying in an automobile accident either.

    Then what is the problem with students having sex in residence hall rooms when a roommate is present? A policy that bans such behavior forces students to give up sex and removes options from people, so I fail to perceive the relevant distinction.

    You also fail to see that this is a matter of dorm roommate regulations, and not sexual health. The anti-sexile rule goes under the same rubric as the anti-loud-music-after-10pm rule. Pro-choice advocates are less concerned about the fact that college students are having sex (shock! horror!) than that the sexual activity be performed with adequate precautions against STIs and unwanted pregnancy.

    Why are you only concerned about whether a roommate might be bothered by an act of sex and not concerned about any other possible consequences of a sexual act?

    Because we’re discussing the Tufts rule, which only addresses the former. Issues like "is the sex consensual?" are addressed by existing university regulations and state/federal laws which are not newsworthy in this context.

  • grayduck

    soclosetolife on January 7, 2010 – 9:06am: "Human nature will (probably) always be sexual (barring evolution into asexual reproductive techniques). Recognizing that is the first step to understanding why the pro-choice crowd does not condemn sexuality."

     

    I am glad you mentioned asexual reproduction because I question whether much of the behavior at issue has all of the benefits that enabled life forms using sexual reproduction to proliferate. Much of the behavior at issue is presumably out of wedlock and without the willingness and ability of the male to bear the full costs of fatherhood. Instead, the costs of fatherhood are transferred to the state through welfare and to the family of the mother. In addition, a substantial percentage if the acts are non-consensual. Both of these problems with the behavior undermine some of the evolutionary benefits of sexual production. Specifically, one of the reasons that sexual reproduction has resulted in more complex and successful life forms is because natural selection tends to eliminate deleterious traits. But in the case of much of the behavior we are discussing, natural selection does not work properly because, if the male is not forced to make any investment in his offspring and in the female, he has little incentive to be selective in choosing a mate. Concurrently, the female selection ability is undermined because the female ability to select is dependent on the prohibition of non-consensual sexual intercourse. Female selection is also undermined because the woman is benefitted by choosing irresponsible men as mates rather than capable and devoted fathers. Furthermore, female selection is undermined if the state and society replaces the father because there is only one state and only one society, and therefore there is only one replacement father for the female to select. I realize that I compacted some complex ideas into a small number of words, so I expect that we may need to discuss these ideas further. But I welcome a thoughtful response to my question.

     

    "Pro-choice in regards to abortion means that one feels a woman has a right to choose an abortion. Pro-choice in regards to reproductive justice means that one feels a person has a right to an informed choice regarding what happens to themselves in the spectrum of sexual activities. What this means is that pro-choicers want comprehensive sexual education. We want open communication to exist about sex. We want women and men to be able to express without shame their sexual desires. We want women to be able to experience pregnancy on their own terms."

     

    Why are you assuming that all of the behavior is equivalent? I would posit that some sexual activity among students in dormitories may be quite healthy, such as sex between married people. Meanwhile, drug-facilitated rape is not healthy. My question was aimed at the assumption that much of the behavior at issue is deleterious.

     

    So, to summarize, I would propose that a disproportionate share of the behavior at issue is deleterious and that those acts do not have many of the original benefits of sexual reproduction.

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • the-watcher

    I would posit that some sexual activity among students in dormitories may be quite healthy, such as sex between married people.

    Yes, or unmarried people who are fully aware of the pros and cons and have sex willingly.

     

     

    Meanwhile, drug-facilitated rape is not healthy. My question was aimedat the assumption that much of the behavior at issue is deleterious.

    No, your question was aimed at taking the discussion away from what the topic at hand is and putting it back on your pet issue.

     

     

    So, to summarize, I would propose that a disproportionate share of the behavior at issue is deleterious and that those acts do not have many of the original benefits of sexual reproduction.

    You can propose anything you want, but that won’t make it true, or relevant.

     

    Your posts indicate that you have a singleminded desire to push a right-wing agenda. To achieve that goal, you’ll step outside the bounds of culturally acceptable message board behavior. For instance, you either pretend or refuse to believe facts because you don’t like them (such as the fact that people having recreational sex aren’t interested in the "benefits of sexual reproduction.") You’ll hijack stories that have nothing to do with abortion and bring them back to abortion because you like to talk about it.

     

    If you want to participate in the discussions here, no one is going to throw you out just because your position is the minority. However, you need to stop changing every discussion into your personal anti-abortion soapbox and stay on topic.

  • grayduck

    ProChoiceFerret on January 7, 2010 – 12:31pm: "…there are better ways of reducing the number of unintended pregnancies than passive-aggressively (and futilely) arguing that human beings shouldn’t be having non-procreative sex in the first place."

     

    Rape, incest, adultery, prostitution, adultery, and fornication- which collectively result in the overwhelming majority of abortions- are neither inevitable nor unstoppable.

     

    One study found that states employing strict enforcement of child support have up to 20 percent fewer unmarried births than states that are lax about getting unmarried fathers to pay. That means that men are engaging in those crimes in a deliberate effort to exploit welfare and other societal institutions designed to ensure the financial security of children. If that exploitation is defeated, the incentive to engage in those behaviors is undermined and, thus, the behaviors are rendered less frequent.

     

    http://www.uwnews.org/article.asp?articleID=10608

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • princess-rot

    Fornication is a rather, shall we say, broad term that could encompass everything from a couple of teenagers necking at the movies to penatrative sex. I do not see how restricting sexual acts to heterosexual married couples – and only then for procreation – will do anything about America’s general insanity about sex. Do you think married women never have unwanted pregnancies or abortions? What about straight women who don’t want to marry – are they supposed to partake of lifelong celibacy? Do you think that privileging heterosexual married couples over everyone else will automatically turn all women into June Cleaver clones who want nothing but babies, babies, babies?  That homosexuality will go away? That rape culture will stop? That male privilege will collapse? It won’t, Grayduck. Requiring people to have a license to fuck like they need a license to drive will not do anything at all except add more nebulous "rules" to the soup women and girls are expected to live by, and that is not helpful.

  • prochoiceferret

    Rape, incest, adultery, prostitution, adultery, and fornication- which collectively result in the overwhelming majority of abortions- are neither inevitable nor unstoppable.

    (Wow. Adultery is so bad, it gets listed twice!)

     

    If you think that fornication—a.k.a. consensual sexual activity between unmarried partners—is a problem to be lumped in with those other issues, then, well… let us know when you get back to Earth.

     

    Oh, and good luck with the whole stopping-fornication thing. The Catholic Church is still working on that one, and they had a pretty good head start on you.

    That means that men are engaging in those crimes in a deliberate effort to exploit welfare and other societal institutions designed to ensure the financial security of children.

    Somehow, I suspect that’ll come as a surprise to all the rapists and fornicators out there.

  • soclosetolife

    GrayDuck,

     

    Your tentative grasp on evolutionary theory is showing. You might want to cover that up.

     

    I would love to suggest an author or a publication that might correct your fallacious argument, but, unfortunately, none spring to mind. I am also quite sure that in reading any such material you would surely ignore the factual information and logical theory presented to you; you have proven your inability to process such information in your responses here.

     

    The response to your poorly conceived theories about modern human reproduction would take to much space here but please suffice it to say that your "welfare queen" theory of reproduction is offensive to every thinking person on this board.

     

    "I realize that I compacted some complex ideas into a small number of
    words, so I expect that we may need to discuss these ideas further. But
    I welcome a thoughtful response to my question."

     

    You did indeed compact a complex idea into a small number of words. However being rather certain that your small number of words accurately reflected a flawed and anti-intellectual theory, I am also certain that  I would not care to continue an address with you.

  • grayduck

    solidground33 on January 7, 2010 – 2:56pm: "GrayDuck is looking at this article from a very narrow perspective. Sex in dorm rooms is not automatically a prochoice vs. prolife issue. You can be extremely uncomfortable with the idea of your roommate having sex while you’re present (or uncomfortable with sex in the dorm room period)and be a hardcore prochoice activist at the same time. You can practice abstinence and be prochoice. Being prochoice just means that you are willing to allow women to have a choice over what to do with their bodies– it doesn’t mean you have to go out and have an abortion or have sex yourself."

     

    Please explain the relevance of these comments.

     

    "Unintended pregnancies occur most often when people don’t plan to have sex."

     

    How did you come to that conclusion? Strictly speaking, it is clearly erroneous. Sexual intercourse is nearly always a deliberate act. As such, it must be planned- if for no more than a few seconds.

     

    "The point of unintended pregnancies is that they are just that-unintended."

     

    How does that assertion relate to the topic or my initial question?

     

    "This "type of behavior," as soclosetolife said, is natural- it is unnatural for most human beings to not have sex or not want to have sex, unless they are asexual. Sex in general is natural- which is why all of nature’s creatures do it."

     

    First of all, not all of nature’s creatures engage in sexual intercourse- either at the individual or the species level. Second, abortion is unnatural, and few of nature’s creatures do it. Third, my concern is not with sex per se. My concern is that much of the sex at issue probably has far deeper problems than annoying a roomate. Rape, prostitution, and fornication are all far more likely to result in an aborted pregnancy than marital sexual intercourse.

     

    "The benefit humans have is that they can plan ahead and thus be sexually active and not get pregnant or contract STDs."

     

    If that was true, unintended pregnancies would never occur.

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • prochoicegoth

    Rape, prostitution, and fornication are all far more likely to result in an aborted pregnancy than marital sexual intercourse.

    Care to provide proof for this claim?


    It’s pro-choice or
    NO choice.

  • crowepps

    Grayduck, it took me quite a while to answer this because I just didn’t know where to start.  First the difference between asexual and sexual reproduction is the advantage of DNA recombination, which is equally present in all forms of reproduction, married, single, willing and unwilling. This basic article on sexual versus asexual reproduction might help:

    http://www.evolutionary-philosophy.net/sex.html

    There is no evolutionary benefit in "the willingness and ability of the male to bear the full costs of fatherhood" but rather a disadvantage, since a promiscuous male careless about birth control will have many more children, more of whom are likely to survive, and be able to spread his genes much further.

  • prochoiceferret

    Grayduck, it took me quite a while to answer this because I just didn’t know where to start. First the difference between asexual and sexual reproduction is the advantage of DNA recombination, which is equally present in all forms of reproduction, married, single, willing and unwilling.

    I just thought he was talking up asexual reproduction because it’s the only option available to him.

  • crowepps

    He seemed to be confusing the idea of an ‘asexual individual’, who is not interested in sex and of course therefore cannot and does not reproduce, with ‘asexual reproduction’ which means reproducing by creating an exact duplicate of oneself with indentical DNA.

     

    I am constantly boggled by how ignorant people are about what words actually MEAN and how confused they are by the results of scientific studies, and especially when those people are connected to and participating in the internet, where all of the definitions can be pretty easily located and where there are many sites which make great efforts to simplify scientific concepts so that they are understandable.

     

    I grieve for the appalling state of American education which obviously gets a massive fail in teaching both science and logic — and the appalling state of American mental health care, which should be providing treatment and support to those so obviously distressed by their obsession with their inability to intervene in other people’s sex lives.

  • crowepps

    First of all, not all of nature’s creatures engage in sexual intercourse- either at the individual or the species level.

    What does the reproduction of corals, sponges or dandelions have to do with dorm rooms?  I would certainly be interested in your indentification of any intelligent life form which doesn’t use sexual (recombinate DNA) reproduction.  Certainly there is a small number of humans with a very low or nonexistent sex drive, but they are outliers not representative of the general population.

    Second, abortion is unnatural, and few of nature’s creatures do it.

    Abortion actually is quite common in mammals under stress, and there is a lot of literature about animals under stress reabsorbing their fetuses in the uterus, spontaneously aborting and consuming fetuses, or abandoning their offspring after birth.  Nature is actually pretty ruthless in guaranteeing the continuing existence of the parent as more likely to lead to the survival of the species overall than the continuing life of any particular year’s crop of offspring.

    Third, my concern is not with sex per se. My concern is that much of the sex at issue probably has far deeper problems than annoying a roomate.

    The university, however, was dealing with the problem of offensive roommate behavior and the right of students to be able to effectively use the rooms for which they were paying.  Your assumption that the "sex at issue probably has far deeper problems" is based in your apparent personal revulsion towards sex itself as evident in your admiration for those species which manage to reproduce without any of their individuals having to contaminate themselves by touching others.

    Rape, prostitution, and fornication are all far more likely to result in an aborted pregnancy than marital sexual intercourse.

    In all of those cases, the determining factor is going to be whether or not the pregnancy is wanted, just as it is in marital sexual intercourse.   Many married couples do not want or already have sufficient children and are therefore likely to abort unwanted pregnancies.

  • prochoiceferret

    I am constantly boggled by how ignorant people are about what words actually MEAN and how confused they are by the results of scientific studies, and especially when those people are connected to and participating in the internet, where all of the definitions can be pretty easily located and where there are many sites which make great efforts to simplify scientific concepts so that they are understandable.

    My theory is that, in people of a certain disposition, the topic of abortion induces a double-digit drop in IQ. Which is how people who can otherwise tie their shoes, drive a car, and otherwise lead normal, productive lives become irrational, unyielding, reality-challenged troglodytes. If they were to operate at the same level in other areas of their lives, they’d have to be committed for their own safety. "If I press the gas pedal, the car should move forward. That is the God-given natural order, which the car in front of me was flagrantly violating, Officer."

    I grieve for the appalling state of American education which obviously gets a massive fail in teaching both science and logic

    People here go around likening evolution to a tornado assembling a fully-functioning 747 from a pile of scrap metal, while China and other Asian-bloc countries laugh all the way to the bank….

    and the appalling state of American mental health care, which should be providing treatment and support to those so obviously distressed by their obsession with their inability to intervene in other people’s sex lives.

    Yeah. Why can’t they be distressed by their obsession with building matchstick cathedrals, or something? It’s not like women don’t already have enough misogyny-pie on their plates!

  • crowepps

    They don’t seem to be able to recognize how ego-driven their positions are either.

     

    "What if MY mother had aborted ME?"  Then the world would have gotten along just fine without you.

     

    "It just ENRAGES ME that other people make different decisions than I would!"  And those people have some obligation to acceed to your wishes so you don’t have to do the necessary work on your anger-management issues?

     

    "REAL women aren’t like that.  REAL women are maternal and giving and selfless."  Which means as a REAL MAN he can be uncaring and selfish and ego-driven while the women around him take care of everything he finds tedious or boring or disgusting, because he certainly can’t have any of those ‘girly’ qualities or his friends might think he’s GAY.

     

    And of course the ever-popular "MY religion is better than YOUR religion and MINE says you will BURN IN HELL if you don’t do what my [priest/preacher/lama/guru/scientology auditor] says you should" which is totally unconvincing to those who don’t share the beliefs of their particular delusion.

     

    But of course even with all those I’s and ME’s and MY’s in there, it’s all about the ‘innocent life’, not THEMSELVES.  Sigh.  Sometimes it’s like trying to bail out the Titanic with a teaspoon.

  • ahunt

    "REAL women aren’t like that.  REAL women are maternal and giving and selfless."

     

    I always get a chuckle out of this one. I’ve come across the concept a time or two, and it is pure joy to respond with words to the effect of…"So how many REAL women do you actually know?"

     

    Apparently, the US is populated with faux women.

     

    You just tap the nut a bit, enough to put a small crack in the shell…and the misogyny oozes out, slowly at first…but then the nut explodes with the released pressures of mommy fixation and the general contempt for women.

  • grayduck

    ProChoiceFerret on January 12, 2010 – 10:27pm: "Oh, it’s real easy! You just have to see the value in mitigating risks, even if they cannot be eliminated entirely. After all, seat belts and air bags aren’t foolproof against the risk of dying in an automobile accident either."

     

    Let us apply that analogy to the original sentence to see if it is valid. "We live in the 21st century where seat belts and air bags allow motorists to avoid crashes." I think the implication is that crashes- or pregnancies and STIs- can be avoided entirely. Otherwise, what would be the point of the "21st century" part and why not just say that pregnancies and STIs can be suppressed among sexually-active people to a greater extent than in the past?

     

    "You also fail to see that this is a matter of dorm roommate regulations, and not sexual health. The anti-sexile rule goes under the same rubric as the anti-loud-music-after-10pm rule."

     

    You failed to answer my question.

     

    "Pro-choice advocates are less concerned about the fact that college students are having sex (shock! horror!) than that the sexual activity be performed with adequate precautions against STIs and unwanted pregnancy."

     

    What makes you think that such behavior is performed with adequate precautions against STIs and unwanted pregnancy?
    If the story had explicitly said the school had administered controls to ensure that the sexual activity was consensual and done with adequate precautions against STIs and unwanted pregnancy, I would not have asked the question.

     

    "Because we’re discussing the Tufts rule, which only addresses the former."

     

    That response begs the question.

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • prochoiceferret

    Let us apply that analogy to the original sentence to see if it is valid. "We live in the 21st century where seat belts and air bags allow motorists to avoid crashes." I think the implication is that crashes- or pregnancies and STIs- can be avoided entirely.

    Well, obviously, you thought wrong.

    Otherwise, what would be the point of the "21st century" part and why not just say that pregnancies and STIs can be suppressed among sexually-active people to a greater extent than in the past?

    Because pregnancies and STIs aren’t just a little less preventable than they have been in the past, they’re a lot less preventable, given what we know now, and the materials and technology available to us today. Doesn’t mean it always works, or that people always use it correctly, but it does mean that recreational sex is no longer an activity with broadly unacceptable risks as in the non-21st-century (and partly 20th-century) days. Much to your disappointment, apparently.

    You failed to answer my question.

    The question was "Then what is the problem with students having sex in residence hall rooms when a roommate is present?" If you genuinely have to ask that question, if you have no idea what the problem might be—then welcome to Earth! Barack Obama is our leader, he’s the guy you want to talk to.

    What makes you think that such behavior is performed with adequate precautions against STIs and unwanted pregnancy?

    Um, I wasn’t thinking that, actually. Whether or not a particular university student has safe or unsafe sex depends largely on how s/he was educated, and there’s quite a bit of variation on that between different students. The point, of course, is to make comprehensive sexual education a point of public policy, so that students in general know to take the appropriate precautions when they engage in sexual activity.

    If the story had explicitly said the school had administered controls to ensure that the sexual activity was consensual and done with adequate precautions against STIs and unwanted pregnancy, I would not have asked the question.

    Yes, if you hadn’t completely failed to grasp the problem that Tufts was addressing with this rule, you would not have asked the question.

    That response begs the question.

    That tends to happen when you go off-topic.

  • grayduck

    Princess Rot on January 15, 2010 – 7:02am: "Fornication is a rather, shall we say, broad term that could encompass everything from a couple of teenagers necking at the movies to penatrative sex."

     

    My use of the term assumed the legal definition, which is more restrictive than what you are suggesting. (I support enforcing the law, but wish it had an exclusion for women who are raped.)

     

    https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.34&year=2009

     

    "I do not see how restricting sexual acts to heterosexual married couples – and only then for procreation – will do anything about America’s general insanity about sex."

     

    If you look at the legal definitions of adultery and fornication, you will see that neither include same-sex conduct.

     

    As I have pointed out elsewhere, unmarried women are six times as likely to abort a pregnancy. That six-to-one ratio is likely to be misleadingly low because some married women are not married to the men who impregnated them. Given that women are far less likely to abort the children of their husbands than of men who are not married to them, suppressing rape, incest, prostitution, adultery, and fornication can be expected to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions.

     

    "Do you think married women never have unwanted pregnancies or abortions?"

     

    Married women account for only fifteen percent of abortions. Some of those abortions result from rape impregnation, health problems, adultery impregnation, domestic violence, and lack of support from the father. The remaining abortions among married women are necessarily few and the reasons for them have not been identified as far as I can see.

     

    "What about straight women who don’t want to marry – are they supposed to partake of lifelong celibacy?"

     

    Men and women can either be celibate for life or get married. For some people celibacy is the preferred option; but for those who wish to engage in sexual intercourse with a designated partner, the requirements for marriage are not burdensome.

     

    "Do you think that privileging…married couples over everyone else will automatically turn all women into June Cleaver clones who want nothing but babies, babies, babies?"

     

    No, but just like licensing drivers helps to limit the numbers of motor vehicle crashes, licensing sex would help to limit the occurrence of rape, incest, prostitution, unintended pregnancy, and abortion.

     

    "That rape culture will stop?"

     

    I think rape would become less common if the prostitution, adultery, and fornication laws were enforced. Many of the charges of adultery and fornication would necessarily result from accusations of rape. But the adultery or fornication charge would be much easier to prove than a criminal sexual conduct charge because consent is not a defense. The rapists could try to avoid that problem by trying to marry their intended victims, but presumably many of the women would refuse. Even if a rapist succeeded, the perpetrator could not use anonymity to avoid prosecution. Moreover, married women are less likely to be raped because they more often have men near them for protection.

     

    "That male privilege will collapse?"

     

    I am all for male privilege.

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • crowepps

    We noticed.

  • grayduck

    ProChoiceGoth on January 19, 2010 – 9:04am: "Care to provide proof for this claim?"

     

    No, but solid evidence exists. Unmarried women are about six times as likely to abort any particular pregnancy as are married women. ("The abortion ratio for unmarried women (485 per 1,000 live births) was 8.4 times that for married women (58 per 1,000).")

     

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5713a1.htm?s_cid=ss5713a1_e

     

    If women who are impregnated from adultery are added to the numerator in the above ratio, the ratio is likely to be even higher. Then if women who abort as a result of health problems are removed from the ratio, the ratio is likely to be still higher. Shifting all women raped within marriage to the numerator is likely to make it even higher still.

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com