16
Feb

Sex and College: An Introduction

   Posted by: Robert   in Uncategorized

Looking through headlines today, I discovered a single random report of a new policy taking effect on Harvard’s campus.  The new policy appears to do little to advance the virtues of learning in the academy, but may be frustratingly necessary for the health of campus life.  It has nothing to do with advancing new speech codes.  It’s about sex.  In particular, it’s about prohibiting college professors from having sexual relationships with undergraduate students.

The policy seems almost too obvious to be worth having.  It strains the imagination to think of what a healthy romance between a student and a professor might look like.  The normal age difference alone should be reason enough to avoid those relationships.  Age, however, is far from the only thing which should stand between professors and the pool of students.  The fact that an official policy is necessary should be seen as a failure of our campus culture.

The relationship between college and sex seems likely to become a minor chord in the media symphony leading up to the next election.  Stories of campus rape have been working their way through the news coverage.  Harvard’s policy change is apparently worthy of mention by CNN.  The entire environment echoes back to grade school sexual education and echoes forward to contraception and abortion.  Campus sex also touches the “war on women.”  And Republicans have, at least in recent years, been either too embarrassed or too stupid to talk about sexual matters intelligently.

Conservatives, though, have no reason to be embarrassed to talk about sex at college.  Indeed, a little conservatism would go a long way toward curing the problems of sex at college.  The alternative, a proliferation of ineffective policies driven by the Federal government’s abuse of Title IX, is no way to help the young men and women who head to college.  What’s needed is a change in college culture that goes far beyond random freshman seminars.

In an upcoming series of posts, I plan to explore the failings of college culture and show where conservative principles could cause significant improvements.

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