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The historical issues relating to college sexuality are very significant in learning the current sexual behavior among the learners. Since the situation is largely a consequent of peer influence, many young people who enter the college life usually adopt this culture regardless of their sexual orientation. As a mature person starts setting his or her eyes on the person of the opposite sex, he/she begins to realize the importance of the beauty of the partner, and this is a part of sexual development. For a long time, sex education is very difficult among family members; meaning that a person’s sexual orientation normally originates from the age mates and develops progressively as the person continues learning from colleagues. Therefore, this paper is a comparison between college sexuality today and college sexuality prior to the Civil War.
College Sexuality Prior to the Civil War
The period before the Civil War portrayed a different scenario about college sexuality, and this made people who lived during those days have a unique sexual orientation and belief compare to the current scenario. First, it was during this period that people, even those at the college level were told that same sex marriage was a societal taboo, and was not acceptable at all (Dworkin, 1994). Perhaps, this message could have landed in your ears before joining the college, thus one had to abide by the information without questioning the rationale for the claim. Since many people do not understand the essence of sex or issues about sexual needs at college level, they could not shy from engaging in casual sexual intercourse with their partners at the college, and thought this was natural (Dworkin, 1994). Although a number could develop fear of engaging in college sex, others considered it a normal occurrence among the people of opposite sex. This means the issues about same sex in college was unheard of, and many college students saw this as a moral character in society since this was the orientation from childhood (Dworkin, 1994). Sexual development depicted prior to the Civil War was unique because there are those who were introduced to the act at a relatively early age, while others had their orientation at a much later age (Dworkin, 1994). Literally, this could be the reason for the different sexual behavior and belief among the college students.
During this period, many college students did not have enough guts to discuss sexual matters with their parents. Since the students found it unworthy to talk about sexual matters openly, the college life forced them to engage in such discussions, thus to develop unique approaches to the act. According to Lucal (1999), the society was inclined towards social morals and issues dealing with sexuality were treated courteously and secretly. The moral decay that is depicted in the modern society was not a characteristic during the period prior to the Civil War (Lucal, 1999).
Historically, the males accounted for the highest percentage of those whose interests were geared towards fulfilling their heterosexual needs than their female counterpart. At the same time, the females were more submissive to sexual advances than the men. Therefore, the gender disparity in terms of submissiveness and making advances made college sexuality become a significant and complex issue (Lucal, 1999). Despite the distinct characteristics of students about college sex, there are emotional matters that could lead to conflict among the college students, especially between those who do not care about life and the ones who would like to remain safe. Ethically, this posted a serious challenge to the college students whose choices were affected by the traditional belief and the new experience at the college level (Lucal, 1999).
Social inequality had a lot of impacts on the suffering that the women went through at college. In this case, some of their male counterparts underscored the impracticality of college sex, yet they could not treat the females equally as men would wish (Rubin, 1984). The appropriateness of college sex did not justify the need for intimate relationships among the learners. This is because there were people who could not regard the culture of college friendship that virtually allowed the college students to engage same-sex intimacy (Rubin, 1984).
College Sexuality Today
The increase of college sexuality was as a direct result of western culture that liberalized the sexual environment. Since the freedom at college gave the students ample time to learn from one another, it affected their friendship choices and sexuality. Today, college sexuality is rampant because the students from different sexual backgrounds mix with others. This led to the emergence of sexual literature and pornography in college (Rubin, 1984). Prostitution also became evidenced and popular among the college students. In this regard, the feminists attacked the sexual privileges, which the men had. At this time, sex education became rampant because the college girls and gents started to embrace the radical theory when tackling issues related to sex, which was in itself a form of sexual education (Rubin, 1984).
The theory argued that the affected women would take urgent measures in dealing with situations about their sexuality and those of other colleagues. Moreover, the practice became more common among the college students compared to the ones whose level of education was lower than the tertiary level. In fact, their sexual identity and the laws were different and affected their life and choices. According to Rubin,
“This means that photographs of naked children in anthropology textbooks and many of the ethnographic movies shown in college classes are technically illegal in several states. In fact, the instructors are liable to an additional felony charge for showing such images to each student under the age of 18. Although the Supreme Court has also ruled that it is a constitutional right to possess obscene material for private use, some child pornography laws prohibit even the private possession of any sexual material involving minors” (Rubin, 1984, p. 146).
According to Brandley-Engen (2009), whether or not one has a right to sex is a debatable issue, especially from an ethical or non-ethical standpoint. Indeed, one is entitled to his/her opinion regarding the matter despite the rational argument that the college sexuality comes in natural and artificial form. As pointed clearly in the article written by Joshua Gamson and Dawne Moon, “The Sociologies of Sexualities”, the authors indicated that the nature of sex, especially the college sexualities today provide the basis of pointing the ethical and other non-ethical issues, which had contributed to the person’s sexual orientation (Gamson & Moon, 2004). In this regard, college sexuality comes as a consequence of an influence that the colleagues exert on an individual. On the other hand, it is intentionally practiced among the people because of exposure to internet pornographic materials, which display explicit pictures to the people.
Since artificially induced sex such as those from the media is largely regarded as illegal, it might affect a person’s life and his or her close colleagues, and could have serious psychological repercussions, sometimes leading to addiction as Gamson & Moon portrayed when they argued that
“In taking up the political economy tradition, sociologists have expanded the investigation of the material aspects of sexual iden? tities, values, and exchanges. Running across these themes, as well, is the impact of "globalization," as sociologists have started to look more closely at the global aspects of queerness, inter-sectionality, and the political economy of sexuality” (Gamson & Moon, 2004, p. 49).
The argument supports the perception that the young people have the free will to sex, but respect the natural course of their sexuality. When a person is fully aware of the natural aspect of sexuality, he/she would not fear to face sex and its consequences.
In addition, since certain consequences of sex cannot be easily determined, none would like to miss sexual encounter, but will subsequently succumb to this irresistible reality of being influenced into college sex (Gamson & Moon, 2004). This clearly indicates that once living, sex is almost a must. However, a person has the right to choose the right time to have sex or to terminate sexual behavior he or she feels uncomfortable with. As a result, when sex interest comes at its right time, the person does not have any choice, but just to indulge, a situation commonly practiced in most colleges to date. Notably, group forces could also determine the time and nature of one’s sex engagement (Ward, 2008). Actually, this does not translate to an absolute sexual influence, but a transitional process leading one to unpredictable sexual practice.
On the other hand, the queer theory could explain the increase of college sexuality today. Here, Stephen Epstein argued that according to this theory, “it suggests this month’s trendiness, just at the latest progeny spawned by the Foucauldian Revolution and adopted by over-eager literary critics and proponents of cultural studies” (Epstein, 1994, p. 145). In this regard, college sexuality today is a very controversial matter and one that is difficult to perceive and control. This is because the desire, preference and feelings are determined by the person’s gender, choices and orientation (Epstein, 1994). In addition, the sexual nature of an individual is best developed after one acknowledges his or her gender identity and respects the other people in society (Brandley-Engen, 2009). This is important because self-formation differs according to one’s gender, a situation that affects his/her sexuality, performance and pleasure.
Regarding the sex experts, the problem of college sexuality depends on individual interests and ethical issues (Brandley-Engen, 2009). Bearing in mind that the sex givers have the mandate to do whatever it takes to protect their life, any issue that allows the student to request or demand that the sexual act should be terminated in advance should be headed because it is her choice, life and not a mere coincidence of sexuality. In such cases, the partner has the obligation to uphold ethics during their negotiation, even if they are aware that the person might end his/her interest after a short period (Brandley-Engen, 2009).
The sex experts should apply the required professional standards and codes of ethics to evaluate and resolve college sexuality and ethical dilemmas, which they face during their work. Therefore, it assumes that the sexologist should not compromise on the partner’s demand, or right to safe sex, as long as his/her interest has not been terminated naturally (Gamson & Moon, 2004). Therefore, analyzing college sexuality requires a lot of dedication and willingness to do critical analysis of the environment under which the concerned people are.
In addition, the sex professionals should be keen when providing sexuality advice to the interested parties, as this falls under their ethical and expertise mandate (Gamson & Moon, 2004). In reality, this stresses the sexologists’ obligation to provide advice that will prolong and improve the quality of the partner’s life, a role that requires true devotion. When the sex experts strictly adhere to their obligation and ethical practices, they would help in reducing sex related violence in society.