Sexual virtue ad disturbing

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March 2, 2007

3:39 PM

When it comes to dating, I say stick to your own kind. Whites for whites, blacks for blacks, and everyone’s much happier. Also, I think you should know that women produce a special chemical that makes them much more vulnerable to heartbreak than men, and they must therefore be protected from themselves at all costs. How does that strike you? Racist? Sure. Sexist? Oh yeah. Flat-out untrue? Without a doubt.

p. Yet, these are exactly the same sentiments that can be found in a page-long paid advertisement in the Feb. 23 issue of The Flat Hat. Seriously. If you’re like me, you probably read the title, “What is sexual virtue: A message to men,” skimmed a few paragraphs, said, “Right, no sex before marriage. Great,” before moving on to that spicy, spicy sex column. But if, for some reason, you actually had the curiosity and patience to stick it out to the end of the 30-plus paragraphs, you might have been a little surprised at some of the “science” used to justify the wonders of sexual virtue.

p. Here are some highlights: “Among the largest risk factors for divorce are: (1) religious differences, which approximately doubled the odds of divorce; (2) premarital cohabitation; and (3) race or ethnicity difference, each of which raised the odds of divorce by about 50 percent …. It comes as no surprise, then, that inter-ethnic marriages have a high break-up rate.”

p. “A woman’s chemistry binds her to her mate. Moreover, the bond is not symmetrical. Human males might produce maybe a tenth as much oxytocin as females. Therefore, a sexual relationship outside of a permanent public promise is inherently an unequal relationship. When it breaks up, the woman may deeply grieve the loss, but the man can walk away, feeling good about himself.”

p. These are the words of John B. Delos, a professor of physics at the College. Now if this is some kind of joke, perhaps in the spirit of the Colbert Report, then good work, Professor; it was a mild laugh. But if these are actually the sentiments of a professor of science at a university, then I am not laughing. As a man, I am bothered by the fact that I am “inherently being unfair” every time I pursue a woman because her poor little confused brain is simply not up to the challenge of the dating game.

p. As a person, I am dismayed that I am being told, using a bunch of poorly-construed and falsely-interpreted statistics, that my happiness lies mainly in the realm of women of my own religion and race. And, as a student, I am disgusted that I am being preached to under the guise of cold, hard science by a physics professor.

p. To the editors of The Flat Hat, I wonder what standards, if any, you employ in the screening of your advertisements. I am in favor of everyone’s right to his or her own opinions (no matter how outlandish), but surely a line must be drawn somewhere, and I should hope that said line would be drawn at the border of truth and fiction.

p. An opinion is one thing, but when a physics professor uses his position of authority to take advantage of, and deliberately mislead, college students using pseudoscience, I think you should have the good sense to realize the difference. It is one of the more basic responsibilities of a newspaper to not print things that it knows to be plainly untrue. Controversial opinions? Great. Christian doctrine masked by bad pseudoscience? Never.

p. Professor Delos, I am happy that you have so many “theories” that justify your own religious beliefs. I am thrilled that you are so sure of them that you would spend $600 to shove them in my face.

p. But I am deeply saddened that you chose to drag the name of science and your profession through the mud in order to proselytize to college students. And I sincerely hope, for the sake of your students, that your science lessons involve a little more scientific truth and a little less Christian “truthiness.”

p. __Matthew Blair is a senior at the College.__

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