Three Lies that American Universities Will Tell You about Sex
When attending freshman orientation at my liberal, state-run alma mater, I was instantly exposed to sexuality in a way I had been shielded from during my previous thirteen years of Catholic homeschool education. Throughout my three years at that university, I realized that there were certain lies being fostered by the administration itself, lies which lead so many young people to sexually active lifestyles that destroy their self-esteem, their physical and mental health and relationships with both human beings and God.
But this isn’t a problem unique to my alma mater. For those who are in college now or preparing to enter that chapter of life, here are three lies promoted on campus that, if you’re able to identify them, will help you avoid major pitfalls during these formative years.
1.Valuing chastity is a sign that you were “sheltered” and “naïve” as a child
Probably the most common line of temptation you will hear is that the only reason you haven’t engaged in certain actions before, especially sex, is because your parents “sheltered” you, making you “naïve.” But the reality is that your parents likely have greater knowledge about how casual and premarital sex is spiritually, physically and emotionally harmful to everyone involved. As highlighted in a 2013 analysis from the American Psychological Association, hook up culture and one-night stands result in negative emotions and regret for both men and women, even when some positive emotion is also present. The same paper pointed to data that university students engaged in sex—specifically outside of a committed relationship—had greater depression and lower self-esteem than those who did not. Chastity isn’t just something your parents tell you to practice. It’s mature, responsible and virtuous.
2.You’re not capable of rising above the sexual temptations so often experienced by young people
Every young person is faced with some form of sexual temptation. You can either give into it or you can choose the virtuous route. The typical American university, however, will tell you that you’re nothing more than your sexual desires and you simply can’t rise above it. But no matter how great the temptation, God has given you free will. You can always choose to avoid sin and practice virtue, even when it’s hard. Pretending that young people are hopeless when it comes to resisting sexual temptations leads to the promotion of contraception. Aside from the fact that using such measures intentionally prevents procreation—thereby using the other person strictly for pleasure—this practice has long been associated with health problems. This further proves that casual sex and trying to control the consequences is outside natural law. For example, health conditions such as hypothyroidism and breast cancer have been linked to long-term use of the birth control pill. Contraception is advertised as “safe sex”, but what that really means is that you lower your chances of conceiving a child out of wedlock. It’s merely an excuse to do what you want with less risk of parenthood, but the same amount of responsibility for your actions.
3. As long as both parties consent, any sexual act is acceptable and respectful of the other person
A term that seems to be growing rapidly in popularity is “consent.” You will hear this at least once a day on a college campus, and what people generally mean by it is that if both a guy and a girl say they want to have sex, it’s not only an acceptable act but it’s also respectful. Think about that fallacy for a second. Getting permission to do something bad doesn’t make that action good. “Consent” to sexual intimacy outside of marriage isn’t respect. It’s mutual abuse of another human being made in God’s image.
If you’re already in college, you’ve likely encountered these lies before. If you’re about to begin that journey, know that the lies are coming. But also remember that you have the will to choose sin or virtue. It’s hard, especially when the lies are prominent, and it feels like everybody around you is believing them. Take note of these three major pitfalls and, by the grace of God, you won’t find yourself caught in the same narrative.
Jean Mondoro is a 21-year-old Catholic journalist and blogger based in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Particular subjects she is passionate about include abortion, gender ideology, education and music. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains. To read more of her work and connect, please visit her website.