Posted by: Beverly Dale | October 11, 2009

Who is skewing who?

The editorial board of the student newspaper at Boston College is scandalized that students are distributing free condoms off-campus saying it is skewing student ideas about sexual health. (They can hardly do it on campus since as a Catholic school this would violate the Catholic rule that if you are going to have sex it has to be unprotected!) The editors actually compare this free distribution to helping “another student cheat on a homework assignment.” Hmm-m-m, this convoluted thinking goes something like; by giving out free condoms we are encouraging students to develop the bad habit of not budgeting for their  own expenditures AND it allows them to have sex without requiring a campus-wide discussion about the morality of their choices! And just to be clear that readers know theirs is not a sexually repressed argument, they affirm that the Catholic Church fully promotes sexual health…(sure, by banning sex!).

This reasoning is an example of what sexologist Marty Klein calls the Sexual Disaster Industry (SDI). SDI assumes that “people  can’t explore sexuality safely” and that “eliminating venues for sexual experiences will eliminate sexual behavior.” Only those in the SDI can suggest that  by giving out free condoms students are skewng  understandings of sexual health. I think the “skewing” is a little closer to home.

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