Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What College Freshman Know...

Beloit College introduced its "Mindset List" of this year's college freshman.

It includes 60 items, that today's freshmen, have "always known", different that those of us from earlier generations. It ranges from ice tea in cans and bottles to Jay Leno as the only host of the Tonight show to electronic filing of tax returns.

Only one item has directly to do with sexuality: there have always been gay rabbis. Actually that should probably have read "openly gay rabbi's".

But it occurs to me that for at least for students in college today, there are many assumptions about sexuality that weren't true say for students ten years ago. Off the top of my head here are a few:

*They have been asked to take a virginity pledge, offered abstinence-only-until-marriage education, and had an abstinence group that they could join us campus.

*Their choices of contraception now include the patch, the ring, and emergency contraception.

*Medical abortion is an alternative to surgical abortion.

*There was a gay/straight alliance at their high school.

*They know someone who calls themselves gender queer.

*If they are Unitarian Universalist or UCC, they had sex education in church, in middle school. If they belong to one of ten religious denominations or live in Massachusetts or California, they know a same sex married couple.

*Hooking up is not attaching a trailer to the car.

*They never snuck their parent's Playboy or Playgirl Magazine. They probably didn't go to the library to look up sexuality questions. Their first view of women in scant underwear was in a catalog that came to their home in the mail.

*They know more about STDS/STI's then their parents.

*They've had vaccines for Hepatitis and HPV.

*They use condoms the first time they have sexual intercourse.

*A majority of them still haven't received comprehensive sexuality education at home, school, or their faith community.

Here's a challenge to my Facebook readers -- what else would you add to this list?

And to those of you my age, the challenge is not to read the Beloit List, and feel old...really old.

1 comment:

religiousinstitute said...

They've never known a world without AIDS. Young Episcopalians have no memory of when there were no women priests (much less women bishops). Those are the first two that come to my 50-year-old mind.