Campus Values Battle Moves to the Dorm Room

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Campus Values Battle Moves to the Dorm Room

The early years of the 21st century have witnessed the rise of Web sites and print publications on college campuses that encourage and facilitate uninhibited sexuality. We refer collectively to the students who live the lifestyle promoted by Boink magazine at Boston University, H-Bomb at Harvard, and similar college publications and Web sites, as “boinkers.”

They embody the relativist values as they pertain to sexual matters. But unlike the “summer of love” values that the hippies brought to the Boomers in 1967, the “boinkers” are not looking for a sequential series of “romantic relationships.” They treat sex like a meal at a restaurant or a workout at the gym. It’s just another recreational activity.

So, what’s new? Isn’t this boinker trend just a linear extrapolation of the last 50 years of changing values? Yes, but the real news is that the “boinkers”

aren’t going unchallenged as they try to coax the broader student body into adopting at least part of their lifestyle.

In the past decade, we’ve seen the rise of a large and rapidly growing minority of college-age people who take exactly the opposite view. These are “the abstainers.” Abstainers not only commit to avoiding the extreme “boinker” lifestyle, they commit to remaining virgins until they are married.

Increasingly, it appears that the abstainers are not “throwbacks to the past,” but rather the vanguard of the future. And it also appears that, in the coming decades, the boinkers are going to move from near center-stage to marginality and eventually vanish back into the shadows.

Why? Because, just as the Europeans of the 1980s could look back on a generation of communism in the East and capitalism in the West, today’s college student can look back on the personal lives of the Boomers and the Xers. The abstainers of previous generations have few regrets. Many have enjoyed great marriages, great families, and great lives. Admittedly, some of the “boinkers” of the Boomer generation have enjoyed those things too; but most admit it’s not because of those decisions, but in spite of them.

Moreover, according to a report in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care,1 there is now evidence that abstinence is even associated with health benefits going beyond the simple avoidance of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Researchers at Michigan State University compared a population of “libertine students” with a population of “abstinent students” and found that the “abstainers” were healthier overall than other groups...

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