I just completed a lengthy post on the above subject and lost it to the Internet gods. I refuse to repeat it, but it was about this article in Bostonia Magazine.
This weekend, on college campuses across the country, young men and women will dress up for parties with themes that would make their parents seriously queasy: “maids and millionaires” is a popular one, or “golf pros and tennis hos.” They’ll drink; they’ll dance; they’ll make out with someone; maybe they’ll go home with someone.
And, according to Donna Freitas, a College of Arts and Sciences visiting assistant professor of religion, the majority of them will regret almost everything about the party and what followed, although very few will ever let on as much…
Freitas is the author of Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America’s College Campuses (Oxford University Press, 2008). Funded by a grant from the Louisville Institute, she spent five months talking to students at colleges of all types and sizes. Those discussions revealed a stark dissonance between what the students told her they wanted for themselves – meaningful relationships, romance (which they construe as asexual) – and what they felt everyone else wanted: partying and hooking up. “There’s the peer campus culture, where students assume that what everybody wants is this sexually permissive culture,” Freitas says. “But the vast majority of the students who promote and buy into this culture don’t like it for themselves. They think people don’t take sex seriously enough. They’re not comfortable with the behaviors they see on campus.”
That dissatisfaction, she thinks, is at the root of a trend cited in recent studies: a resurgent interest in religion and spirituality among college students. Freitas had noticed it among her own students, particularly in a popular religion and gender studies class that she taught at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont, in 2005.
Damn, I quoted Charles Colson, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Albert Camus and Steven Speilberg too. It was making the point about the importance of all disciplines, science included, examining the reasons for human beings’ moral compass.