I just read an article on Yahoo news about college life in co-ed dorms. Here were some of the findings
A new study finds university students in coed housing are 2.5 times more likely to binge drink every week. And no surprise, they’re also likely to have more sexual partners, the study found. Also, pornography use was higher among students in coed dorms.
I’ve lived in co-ed dorms my entire college career. I don’t binge drink (and don’t know many people who do), don’t sleep around, and don’t watch pornography. Instead, I’ve made friends with the guys on my hall–or totally ignored them. I’ve treated them exactly how I’ve treated the women who have lived on my halls. I found the title of the article to be odd as well. “No Surprise: Coed Dorms Fuel Sex and Drinking.” Never once have I thought, “Wow. A boy lives next door to me. I should drink this entire bottle of wine and watch some porn!” It seems to be implying that us lady-students are so easily influenced by the men in our dorms that we will sleep with them and binge drink. Like we don’t have any agency in our decision making processes and that the only way to protect us is for all the women to live in a cloistered nunnery.
I scrolled down to continue reading the article. I found it to be “no surprise” that the study was co-authored by a professor of “Family Life” at Brigham Young University (by the way, can I trade in my history major for one in “Family Life?”). The whole study seems suspect to me. First, who said sex and porn are necessarily bad? Maybe the students who choose to go to colleges that have co-ed dorms were more likely to have sex or watch porn to begin with. Or maybe schools that are open-minded enough to recognize that men and women (and those who do not conform to the gender binary) can co-exist also have students who are unashamed of the fact that they are sexually active or watch porn.
To close- there is one all-female dorm at Vassar. The women I know who live there (by choice or random assignation) are similar to other Vassar students: Strong, independent, and entirely capable of making their own decisions. And while many of them drink more heavily than the women living in the dorms, have multiple sexual partners, and actively enjoy porn, some choose to abstain from those activities. I seriously doubt that if they happened to live in the co-ed dorms they would change their behaviors.