By Mark Graham
Recently while reading the Courier I stumbled upon an article by Josephine Styles regarding the relatively new program on MTV, “Skins”. The article criticized the show for its blatant objectifying of women and its x-rated content, which is being marketed towards American teenagers. While agreeing completely with the writer, I have seen both the US version of the show and the UK equivalent and can say without doubt that the US version is relatively tame in comparison. This is equally as true for the UK version of Jersey Shore called “Geordie Shore”. When I first saw it, I was absolutely appalled by the nudity, and I’m talking complete nudity here, not what you see in the American original. So while agreeing completely with the author of the article, I find the US media to be relatively free of sexual content when compared to UK and Irish media.
The article got me to thinking on the promiscuity that I have witnessed on college campuses both in the US and here in Ireland. I believe promiscuity among college students to be much more prevalent here in Ireland than it is in the US, and I have found that American exchange students here at my own campus in Ulster agree. In fact, while sitting in class recently, two girls were openly discussing the fact that they “hadn’t had any in way too long.” These young ladies were making no attempt to hide what they were talking about and did not seem at all bothered that I was basically right beside them. While not witnessing anything like this in the states, I assume such conversations take place there too.
Being a Christian, and I am by no means getting on my high horse here, I believe sex is a special gift from God and should take place within marriage. Of course, this is not to say that young people do not get swept away in their feelings for each other. Maybe it is more realistic to say I believe it is important to try and abstain. Sex, at the very least, should be kept between two people that love each other and are in a committed relationship. It most definitely is not something to be abused or cheapened through one-night stands or drunken sexual exploits. According to a survey carried out by Durex, the average Irish person has 11 sexual partners in their lifetime. I found this number to be astonishing and quite saddening. I myself, believing that sex is for marriage and should at least be kept within a committed relationship, find it hard to believe that anyone could be in 11 committed relationships in a lifetime. The average American, according to the same study, has 10.3 sexual partners in their lifetime, so the US is much the same.
In my experiences in the US though, I find that college girls there are much less promiscuous than here at home. Alcohol and drugs also seem to be much more prominent here. Right now, I feel like I am bashing my own country quite a bit, but I myself was surprised by my observations in America. Honestly, I would have expected the opposite, being from such a small nation. The question is why are young people having so many sexual partners these days? Of course, the media plays a part, and women are without doubt treated as sex objects to a great extent today, particularly within the music industry. This has serious repercussions for young girls. Lots of them grow up believing this is how they should behave and that it’s “cool”. This also has effects on boys. They begin to view the girls as sex objects also, and this is indeed true on college campuses and among young men in general. I myself am disgusted by some of the stuff I hear guys my age speak about, and it’s usually personal things to make it worse, perhaps bragging about their own sex lives. Do these young men have any respect for their partners? Do they believe their girlfriends want people to know the intimate details of their relationship? I would suspect not. This opens up the idea of the double standard within society also. For some strange reason if a guy is “experienced” and has had multiple sexual partners, he is revered by his fellow young men and even to a certain extent by women I feel. If a woman, on the other hand, has multiple partners, she is deemed a “slut”. This is not fair to young women! And that is not to say that I see nothing wrong with their behavior. Indeed, it is in my view disgusting. It is the exact same for young men though, it is equally as disgusting! But why the difference?
I myself have not had 11 sexual partners I am glad to say, and I know I will never get near that number, and I am happy about that fact. Strangely, I feel though that I am in the minority of young men today. Once again, this is not me putting myself on a pedestal, it’s just an opinion. I in no way feel that everyone will agree with my views in this article, and I never try to force my opinions on others, I simply make them known. In my humble opinion having numerous partners cheapens something very special, and I believe most people on this campus will see sex as something special whether they come at it from a Christian perspective or just their own moral one. It is my belief sex should be within marriage, and yes, people make mistakes so maybe that is the ideal, but at least we should make sure something so special is kept between two people who love each other and are in a committed relationship. I myself know that if I had 11 partners in my life I would feel bad about it. I do not know if you, the reader, will feel the same, perhaps you would not, or don’t. I am fully aware that this article has not posed any new questions nor answered any of the ones I spoke of; it is simply an opinion and some of my thoughts on the subject. Indeed, my purpose for writing this was not to answer any questions, but rather to simply make you, the reader, THINK.