Don’t buy into the campus sex machine
One thing many colleges and universities seem to do reliably well these days is encourage their students to have lots and lots of sex.
There are entire campus organizations dedicated to handing out as many condoms, as much lubricant, and as many insipid sex pamphlets as realistically possible. Student health centers are often little more than fronts for doling out contraception, STI testing, and abortion referrals.
A pervasive zeitgeist of “consent” has consequently sprung up on most campuses: Faced with the ungovernable (and self-imposed) bacchanalia of oversexed student populations, administrators and activists have determined that, in order to make extramarital sexual activity “safe,” partners must seemingly sign agreement forms in triplicate, file a notarized statement of sexual receptiveness with the local circuit court, and offer “enthusiastic and ongoing” consent every step of the way. “Yes, I consent to you taking off my socks” is now—seriously—a phrase that people are expected to utter. It would be hilarious if it were not so unseemly and weird (okay, it’s still pretty hilarious).
There is a better way than this. Sexual licentiousness is as old as humanity itself; there is nothing radical about a culture of banging-on-demand. The truly groundbreaking approach to sexual relations—the revolutionary code that still baffles and scares most people who come into contact with it—is not that of the campus, but that of Christ Jesus’: God’s plan, laid out clearly in Biblical scripture and Church tradition, that sexual activity is properly and rightly reserved for marriage, itself an institution consisting of a man-woman union.
These are not stuffy, outmoded ideas. We know that, even in His own time, Christ’s proscriptions and prescriptions on marital conduct were radical and revolutionary enough to cause His disciples to doubt the institution of marriage altogether. The human heart—and the human loins—have always been susceptible to self-interested and self-destructive conduct. Indulging in those impulses has always been easy and simple. Chaining them down and channeling them in ways that are both moral and productive has always been more difficult. The former is a path to misery and lazy spiritual ennui; the latter is the way to true, genuine, no-joke happiness.
Even non-Christian or non-religious people can recognize this: the faith’s teachings about sex and sexuality are not true because they’re Biblical, they’re Biblical because they’re true. Sexual morality is a universal ideal, not a narrow and provincial one. The heirs of the sexual revolution have tried to convince our culture that what is secular must necessarily be sexually anarchic, but this is not at all the case, any more than a secular society must necessarily embrace murder or thievery.
Our college campuses have by-and-large rejected these ideals, and that is a poverty: We have now raised a couple of generations on a diet of destructive and false sexual ideology, and the results are self-evident. It is not too late, however, to reject this way of thinking in favor of something more authentically fulfilling. We deserve better than the bill of goods—and the cheap rubber prophylactics—we’ve been sold.