In Loco Parentis, or Pimp Students Out?

By | October 17, 2011 | 12 Comments


David C. Stolinsky
Oct. 17, 2011

UCLA officials announce that they are considering coed dorm rooms.
News item

In my day, college dormitories were unisex. People of the opposite sex were not allowed above the first floor. When I took out a girl, which is what we called teenage females then, I checked in at the desk, and they phoned her to come down.

In those days, we became legal adults at 21, not 18. We were called adolescents, meaning people who were in the process of becoming adults − just as obsolescent means something becoming obsolete. “Adolescent” is rarely used today, and young people are called “teenagers,” which merely describes what they are, but gives no clue about what they should become.

Indeed, the concept of becoming an adult is itself obsolescent. If you doubt this, consider the large and growing percent of people who receive government payments − and consider themselves entitled to these payments. Consider the huge cheer President Obama received from a college audience when he promised that they could stay on their parents’ health-insurance policies until they were 26.

We became legal adults at 21. Now kids become legal adults at 18, but they remain psychological teenagers until they are in their mid-twenties − and often much later. The malls are filled with middle-aged “boys” in baggy shorts and ball caps, and middle-aged “girls” in short shorts and tank tops.

Yes, kids have sexual experiences earlier than we did, but does this lead to greater sexual satisfaction and more stable marriages in adult life? Does this prevent the birthrate from dropping to replacement levels, as is happening in America − or below it, as has already happened in Europe? Not really. When we separated sex from procreation, we didn’t foresee the results.

Yes, things have changed.

First we went to coed dormitories, with males and females on separate floors. Then we went to coed floors. And now, officials of UCLA have announced that they are considering coed dorm rooms. A man and a woman will be assigned to the same bedroom if they request it. There will be no compulsory assignments − at least not yet. Of course, universities that offer coed dorm rooms may expect to get more applicants, so we add greed to a liberal agenda and get a really unpalatable combination plate,

UCLA is following the lead of some other universities that already offer coed dorm rooms. What is more, some dormitories have coed lavatories. This odd policy obviates the problem of assigning a lavatory to transgendered or transsexual students. Here again, in an effort not to cause discomfort to a small minority, liberals cause discomfort to a large majority, while destroying any remaining traces of modesty.

But “progressives” might say so what? To many people, the concept of modesty is obsolete. Small girls are allowed − no, encouraged − to dress provocatively, though they don’t know what this might provoke. But their parents know, or should know. Dancing shows on TV teach kids that gyrating pelvis-to-pelvis is behavior to emulate. It may be unrealistic to expect universities to remake young people who grew up with little idea of modesty or dignity. But at least they don’t have to make things worse.

The “progressive” notion of freedom is that of a 1960s hippie − freedom to have sex wherever and with whomever they please, and freedom to get rid of the baby if pregnancy results. But other types of freedom? Not so much. Freedom to buy the light bulbs and toilets we prefer? Freedom to receive the health care we need? Freedom to keep more of what we earn? Freedom to express conservative views in class without having our grade reduced? That’s going too far.

Years ago, when parents sent a 17- or 18-year-old off to a university, they expected that the university administration would take some responsibility for their daughter or son. They expected that the university would act, at least to a degree, in loco parentis − in place of a parent. And usually this expectation was fulfilled.

At my state university, all freshmen students had to live either in a dorm or in approved housing. This included fraternities and sororities, or in my case a boarding house. When we became sophomores, we could get an apartment if we chose − and in the unlikely event we could afford it. There was no such thing as a coed dorm or boarding house. The idea of coed rooms occurred only in our fantasies.

Am I suggesting that parents should send their sons and daughters to religious-based institutions like Oral Roberts University, Brigham Young University, or Yeshiva University? Not unless they want those specific religious views taught. What I am suggesting − in fact saying plainly − is that secular universities must stop inculcating a world-view that is incompatible with Judeo-Christian values. Otherwise, Western civilization may not survive, and secular universities themselves may not survive. If they are not moved by altruism, and least let them be motivated by self-preservation. If society disintegrates into chaos, who will pay their six-figure tuitions? And if the chaos frightens people into accepting Sharia law, how do they imagine they will remain open?

The wisest person I ever knew, my mother, once remarked that it is good for young people to have illusions, so that when they grow older, they can become disillusioned. But now we accelerate the process. We allow − and often force − teenagers to become disillusioned. We sexualize small children with suggestive TV and music videos. We ignore or even encourage teenage sex, so long as it is “safe.”

Safe from pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases? Not really. Genital herpes and genital warts are rampant among young people in their teens and 20s. How “safe” is that? Check out these facts:

Incidence of genital herpes in the United States has increased 30% over the past 20 years. The largest increase has occurred in Caucasians between the ages of 12 and 19 (5 times more common) and ages 20–29 (twice as common). About 1 million new cases occur each year.

Or read this report:

1 in 4 teen girls has sexually transmitted disease. Virus that causes cervical cancer most common, government study finds.

But “safe” refers not only to physical well-being. What about 16-year-olds who have experienced varieties of sex and grow jaded before they grow up? What about young men who get all the sex they want and see no reason to marry? What about young women who get all the sex they want, and in addition can become unwed mothers without social stigma? What about men and women who no longer believe that God wants them to get married, have children, and raise them as a couple?

Is it good for 16-year-olds to have no illusions − and also no dreams of finding a lifetime mate and raising a family? Is it good for universities to abandon their role as surrogate parents? Is it good for universities, which are touted as the ultimate sources of knowledge, to push students into coed dorms, then dorms with coed floors, and now even with coed rooms? Is it good for universities to teach students, in courses and in practice, that there is no difference between men and women except for their plumbing, and that there is no reason not to give that plumbing all the use it can stand?

Universities as sources of wisdom? What an archaic idea. We don’t need no stinkin’ wisdom! We’ve got huge endowments and federal grants, but we’ll still force you to burden yourselves with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans, while we teach you “progressive” dogma − and leave you as a cynical leftist to graduate with a diploma you can’t use, and genital herpes you can’t get rid of. Where else can you get a deal like that?

In two generations, we have gone from universities acting in loco parentis for their students, to universities as leftist indoctrination centers, and now to universities in effect pimping out their students. Some would call this “progressive.” I could find other words, but I don’t want to make Marine gunnery sergeants blush.

Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.

www.stolinsky.com

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