News Flash: College "More hanky than panky," says Post

This article on the Washington Post's website was pretty funny. Saying that tons of sex doesn't happen in college is a bold stance -- radical, even. Somehow, either through wishful thinking, urban legend, or actual experience, the popular perception of college -- as American as apple pie and breast implants -- is that it's a hedonistic cesspool of drugs, liquor, and indiscriminate lovin'; convincing people otherwise is about the same as saying the moon is made of ham.

I will, if I may, offer a rebuttal:
First of all, it seems like the Post's argument against collegiate no-pants dancing isn't especially well-researched: "By e-mail and instant message, we canvassed some friends for our blog," write our heroes. Far be it for me to judge complete strangers, but I don't think it's entirely outside the realm of possibility that the lack of sex noted by these "friends" has more to do with their -- let's say "personal shortcomings" -- than with the actual amount of bumping taking place on the average college campus.
Some highlights:
  • "The average for the engineering school is probably like once a semester" [my emphasis].
(I don't think I need to point out the cruel irony here. Based on most of the engineers I know, the engineering school is a hell of a poor choice for a case study of sexual aptitude; might as well get statistics on steroid use by canvassing the Special Olympics.)
  • "Either I missed out or everyone else in college isn't having sex at all."
(To whom it may concern: hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think it's very likely that you did, in fact, miss out -- just as you apparently missed out on Proper Syntax Day in high school.)

And the finale:
  • "At night people just go back to their rooms and finish their homework, or maybe heat up a Hot Pocket" [my emphasis].
...dear sweet bleeding Jesus H. Christ. Who the hell are these people?

The article goes on to cite some figures from Zogby, the gist being that only (only?) 60% of students in the U.S. are sexually active, and that about half the student populations of Harvard, Princeton, and M.I.T. still haven't gotten down and dirty. I'd venture that this is partly due to the fact that the average student at those three schools is already so close to a stress-induced coronary meltdown that anything more strenuous than holding hands and talking about Linux might be fatal.
The article notes that the statistics haven't been "adjusted for homosexuality," which brings the numbers down a bit; it's also worth keeping in mind that these numbers reflect people who aren't having sex, but doesn't account for why. I'm sure at least a third of that 40% aren't abstaining because of morals or chastity: these people would love to be banging like screen doors in a hurricane, but just can't seem to make an opportunity for themselves. For example, I'd be willing to bet that the guy at the party who introduces himself to girls by asking them where they live while breathing heavily -- you know, That Guy; everybody knows of at least one -- is squarely in that national 40% demographic, but not because he chooses to be.

I particularly enjoyed the "landmark study" which reported that the average student has 1.35 hook-ups per semester. I'm not sure what .35 of a hook-up would be, but I'm sure it makes for a fascinating and thoroughly awkward story.

For me, this was the clincher for how lopsided this article is:
  • "I've kind of got a girl right now, but we're both too busy to actually have sex" [my emphasis].
I may be completely off-base here, but judging from my own personal experience since coming to college, this whole thing seems unnatural to me. My friends shag like rabbits on Ecstasy. I've heard reliable stories about threesomes and full-on orgies. For some of the people I hang out with, 1.35 hook-ups is a quiet Tuesday evening -- forget a whole semester. As far as being "too busy to actually have sex," anybody who said that would be met with strange looks and hysterical, uncertain laughter. Too busy to study, maybe; too busy to drink -- slightly less believable, but still possible; but too busy to have sex? That kind of talk will get you tarred and feathered in my corner of the world. Maybe I just hang out with a crowd of deviant sex-crazed degenerates, but even so, I don't think the average college student is as cold and lonely as the article would like us to believe.

This just in: maybe it's worse than I thought. According to Durex, the whole country is in a coital recession. Granted, this article is just a glorified condom ad, but if this data is even close to accurate, then we're getting beat out by -- Mother of babbling God! -- the Canadians. With their guys averaging 23 sexual partners in a lifetime -- Good Lord, can that be accurate?! -- to our measly 13, and Canadian females' average of 10 also one ahead of American woman's 9, the Great White North is making us look like... well, like a bunch of engineering majors.
So are the English.
Oh, and the Mexicans.
...and here we've been thinking we were responsible for global warming.

The moral of this story is that we've got a lot of work to do. As college students, the future leaders of the world, it's our obligation -- nay, our duty -- to lead by example and get our Great Society back on top. If you know what I mean.


Nebraska Senator Sues God (Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit listed as Possible Witnesses)

Okay, so while Jesus and the Holy Spirt have nothing to do with the trial, it's very true that a Nebraska Senator, Ernie Chambers, is filing a lawsuit against God, claiming that God has acted as a terrorist agent, causing fear and the death of millions of inhabitants on earth. Furthermore, he's charging God with intentionally causing "fearsome floods...horrendous hurricanes, and terrifying tornadoes."
While this is, to a certain extent, very amusing, the senator tries to make a very interesting point, which, from the sites I've read, most people have missed. Many people immediately were hung up on the fact that Ernie Chambers is a known athiest who often bashes Christians, or actually took Chambers lawsuit seriously, believing he was actually suing God. However, Chambers comes forth to address the frivolity of many lawsuits today. He says that he's responding to another lawsuit, where a woman named Tory Bowen is using a Nebraska Judge for barring the words "rape" and "victim" from use at trial.
While personally, I don't think this is the best lawsuit to retaliate to (the subject of rape being a very sensitive one in the legal system) Chambers is attempting to make a good point: lawsuits are, and have been for years, hitting a zenith in absurdity. We're all familiar (if not, have at least heard of) the Lieback v. McDonald's case, where a woman sued McDonalds because she spilled hot coffee on herself and claimed she wasn't warned the coffee would be hot.
It may be ridiculous to say that this is an absolute new development (I don't know enough about law to know if ridiculous cases date back to the dawn of time), however it's good that someone of the legal system is taking the platform to point out the hilarity of many lawsuits today. Often it seems as if they are abusing the law, taking advantage of the system to benefit themselves. However, the danger with saying this is that lawsuits in some way have always been just that. When does a lawsuit leave the realms of reality and enter the territory of ridicule and ludicrousness? It's a hard line to draw, but, if nothing else, this latest development in the legal world will force people to take another look at the system and the humorous - yet dangerous - place it sometimes finds itself in.

Further Reading:

Nebraska State Senator Sues God

For another angle on the subject, listen at:

NPR: Senator Sues God