Let's Talk about Casual Sex

On October 12, Dickinson College had its first ever academic discussion on the topic of Kasual Sex. Collaborating with Kappa Alpha Psi, PALS (Peers Assisting Learning about Sex) set out to find some answers to the one question that plagues the mind of most college aged students: what does casual sex mean for heterosexual students from an academic stand point. The point of the event was to have professors and students alike openly discussing a topic that not only is considered taboo, but also seen as a negative thing for young adults to be engaging in. Over all the event was a complete success. A couple dozen students turned out to hear from a panel of 5 professors from different academic backgrounds, from Philosophy to Psychology to American Studies. The major take away I got from the event was presented by Professor Jeff Englehardt. As a Philosophy major I generally enjoy all of the things Philosophers have to say on most every topic, his take on casual sex was even more insightful than I imagined it was going to be. In short, he said that it is not necessary to think that it is always the case that young adults are going to be constantly having sex when in large groups of other young adults. Further, it is not necessary to think that it had to be the case that society would place such a large and important emphasis on sex, nor is it necessary to think that having tons of sex is important for “discovering who you really are”. Rather, these are all byproducts of the randomness of human nature. Although he said that none of things we believe about sex are universally true nor universally important, it is equally acceptable to think of sex and to think about how humans think about sex as something that is important. The point is, stop thinking that casual sex is or isn’t important simply because someone or some group of people says that it is.

The other professors presented more factual information, mostly covering the topics of how much college kids are having sex in relation to other generations of college students (spoiler alert: we aren’t having more or less sex!) and how college kids are feeling about themselves after engaging or not engaging in casual sex (spoiler alert: there is not definitive research to say that negative or positive or neutral feelings are more present in those who engage in casual sex than those who don’t engage in casual sex).

 The short of it is, if you are the type of person who wants to engage in casual sex, by all means go for it. There’s nothing wrong with that decision, and there exists psychological research that says you may actually be happier if you engage in casual sex. If you are the type of person who doesn’t want to engage in casual sex, by all means, don’t have casual sex. There’s nothing wrong with that decision, and there exists psychological research that says you may actually be happier if you don’t engage in casual sex.

Have sex, don’t have sex, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you make decisions that you feel will make you happiest. Who cares what anyone else thinks.