Is Your Child's Dorm a Brothel?
Courtesy of BreakPoint Online
with Charles Colson
At Maryland's Loyola College, ethics professor Vigen Guroian
was lecturing on Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Students
were comparing the novel—in which sexual promiscuity is
required by law—with life in their own freewheeling dorms.
Guroian pointed out the difference: Promiscuity on campus is voluntary,
whereas in Brave New World, it's mandatory.
After class, a young woman came up to Guroian and told him he
was wrong. Peer pressure and living arrangements on campus make
promiscuity "practically obligatory," she said. "When
it seems like everyone else is 'doing it,' it is hard to say no,"
she added. "It is more like Brave New World here
than you think."
Guroian was not altogether surprised. He attended college himself
in the late 1960s, when colleges gave up the responsibilities
of in loco parentis. Up until then, separate dorms for
men and women, along with stringent rules regarding visitors of
the opposite sex, "made it possible for a female student
to say 'no' and make it stick," he writes. While the rules
were not always followed, they established the boundaries and
norms of acceptable behavior.
Today, these boundaries no longer exist. In his new book, titled
Rallying the Really Human Things, Guroian writes that
the abdication of in loco parentis "opened the floodgates
to the so-called sexual revolution, inviting much of what goes
on today in college dormitories." Men and women share dorms
and even bathrooms at some schools. It's not unusual, he says,
for dorms to have a designated room set aside for casual hook-ups.
In effect, he says, colleges have "gone into the …
brothel business." Meanwhile, college administrators ignore
the truth: Coed dorms work to the advantage of male sexual aggression.
And the results are tragic.
"I know that young people are getting hurt, some permanently
scarred for life," Guroian says. "I hold colleges like
my own morally accountable, if not complicit in this harm. The
colleges know what is going on, and they [simply] shovel out self-serving
rhetoric about respecting college students as adults. "And,"
Guroian says, "when those 'adults' get hurt, they order up
more psychologists … to bandage the casualties, my children
Guroian is right: These appalling conditions are both
terrible and tragic. Students today need a great deal of wisdom
to navigate a course of integrity in dormitory life. But the journey
should not be made more difficult by college administrators who
seem unable, or unwilling, to acknowledge the truth about human
nature: Putting healthy young men and women together in close
quarters only promotes promiscuous behavior. In the short term,
these living conditions interfere with the students' ability to
learn. In the long term, they damage their ability to form successful
Before sending their kids off to colleges, parents ought to investigate
the living arrangements. Alumni can also put pressure on their
schools, demanding that they offer at least one non-coed dorm
for women. And students themselves should ask administrators why
they are being forced to live in surroundings that degrade them—a
setting that turns college dormitories, according to Guroian,
into virtual brothels.
Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship
President Mark Earley.
From BreakPoint, Copyright 2006 Prison Fellowship
with Chuck Colson" is a radio ministry
of Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with permission of
Prison Fellowship, P.O. Box 17500, Washington, DC, 20041-0500."
Heard on more than 1000 radio stations nationwide. For more information
on the ministry of Chuck Colson and Prison Fellowship visit their
web site at http://www.breakpoint.org.
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