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Sex Scandal: When colleges treat men and women the same — women get hurt, author says

Men and women are not the same, and colleges should not treat them as such.

In her new book “Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female,” Ashley McGuire points out that the progressive feminist push to ignore differences between the sexes ultimately harms women in a variety of ways.

“We confuse ‘treated the same’ with ‘treated equally,'” McGuire told The College Fix. “When we treat men and women the same, try to force them into the exact same environment and conditions, oftentimes coed, women will lose because we are the physically weaker sex, the more vulnerable sex, in particular reproductively.”

She writes in Sex Scandal: “The willful blindness to basic biological difference under the mantra of equality ultimately disempowers women. It forces them to compete on male terms and punishes them when they fail.”

This “willful blindness” to sexual difference has stemmed from Women’s Studies and Gender Studies programs in colleges and universities, McGuire contends. In an interview with National Review, she states that these departments have for years fostered the notion “that gender is a social construct invented by the patriarchy to oppress women.”

“Women’s Studies departments have been quietly at work for decades, dismantling the meaning of sex and gender and pushing a form of feminism premised on a denial of woman’s distinct nature, especially her capacity for procreation,” she writes in Sex Scandal.

McGuire writes that the teachings of these departments have led to situations in which female undergraduate students use their sexuality to raise money to finance their education, believing their actions to be self-empowering.

“The second wave feminism that I talked about in the book was really nurtured in these Women’s Studies programs,” she told The Fix. “Again it’s a runaway train because now you have these girls, young women, who are studying in these programs who are supposed to be, I think in theory, learning how to empower women and use feminism to improve the condition of women, and instead we have women like the ones I talk about in my book who are using what they are learning to justify the absolute worst degradation against women.”

One of the women McGuire highlights is a Women’s Studies major from Sacramento State who auctioned off her virginity to raise money for graduate school. Though an extreme example, McGuire also discusses the more common trend among women from elite colleges and universities who use the site SeekingArrangement.com to “earn” money by being escorts to older wealthy men.

McGuire writes: “But somehow in their attempt to establish equality with men, whether through deconstructing sexual difference in a Women’s Studies class or replacing men as their own pimps, today’s college women have found themselves caught in a world of rampant rape and prostitution.”

Though Women’s Studies and Gender Studies departments may be small, their influence is large.

“It’s not that they are big departments, it’s that the people who are shaped on these campuses have a disproportionately loud megaphone,” McGuire said.

Colleges and universities also combat sexual differences through coed dorms and, in some cases, coed dorm rooms, McGuire argues.

About 90 percent of campuses have coed dorms and 38 schools have coed dorm room options, she writes, noting that when 74 percent of reported rapes of college students happen in student housing, perhaps coed living is not the safest option.

“We have colleges now that are actually experimenting with coed dorm rooms and then at the same time wondering why when we have men and women sharing the same showers, sleeping in the same rooms, or on the same floors, why we have a sexual assault epidemic,” she said in an interview with EWTN.

Though she says she is concerned it may be too late, McGuire thinks universities should go back to single-sex dorms and encourage single-sex clubs.

“Coed dorms are a failed experiment,” McGuire told The Fix. “I frankly think encouraging single-sex living and activities to the extent possible is the best thing they can be doing.”

This return to distinguishing between the sexes will in turn reinstate chivalry to relationships and combat the hook-up culture seen on college campuses today, McGuire said.

“If you are asking men to treat women no different than men, what you are going to have is chauvinism. Chivalry exists when men are forced to recognize what’s different about women,” McGuire said.

“When we actually look and see what women want out of life, out of a relationship with a man, it has to start with a recognition that men and women are different and are looking for different things out of a relationship with each other…Women help bring out the better qualities in men and vice versa.”

In her book, she writes that “sex needn’t be a scandal.”

“It should be a source of potential and the starting point for true equality. The things that make us different can’t be changed, but understanding them can help us to build a better and more just society that gives both men and women the chance to live freely and authentically.”

“Universities and colleges have become the primary engines behind making sexual difference scandalous. And now the scandal is on them.”

MORE: How the feminist rule on campus hurts men

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About the Author
Lauren Fox -- University of Notre Dame