Tag Archives: Yale

The divorce of sex and love at Yale

This from a Yale senior

When asked to investigate issues of sexual culture at Yale, discussion members consistently agreed on one particular problem of campus life: Yalies don’t know how to date. We don’t know how to ask someone out during the day, while sober. We don’t know how to treat someone after a sexual encounter. We don’t know how to balance a hyperactive work life with a serious relationship and friends. Judging from some stories, a substantial portion of the population may not even know enough about basic anatomy to give any kind of pleasure that isn’t pure luck. We’re sure there are some dating-savvy kids out there, we just haven’t met you yet.

No wonder some people get so desperate. Hook-up culture assumes that sloppy, drunken sex every other Saturday night should satiate collegiate hormones for four years.

I wonder how the relational habits students are forming today – in a culture dominated by random hook-ups – will affect their ability to maintain healthy relationships later in life. The divorce of sex and love, not to mention sex and marriage, means that most sexuality is experienced through a haze of inebriation and isolation. It’s directed toward self. The writer hints at this problem, but only in physiological terms. The problem isn’t a lack of education, as she supposes. It’s the lack of love.

Years from now, when these students are married, will they know how to make love to – you know – someone they actually love? Or will their sexuality still be directed toward self, seeking fulfillment through one extra-marital hook-up after another? That’s what I fear will be the case for far too many.

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Yale men target Yale women in vulgar email

Earlier this term, news came out that some male students at Yale had published an email, describing new young freshman girls in vulgar terms and ranking them according to sexual most wanted list:

University administrators are investigating an anonymous e-mail circulating through the Yale undergraduate community that ranks certain women in the freshman class based on their physical attractiveness.

The e-mail message — which was originally sent from an anonymous e-mail account — came to the attention of administrators and freshman counselors earlier this week after first being circulated among athletic teams and fraternities. Titled “The Preseason Scouting Report,” the message lists the names, hometowns and residential colleges of 53 freshman women, who are organized into categories based on appearance. Some of the names are accompanied by vulgar commentary on the students’ Facebook photos or Facebook profiles.

The e-mail classified the women into several categories, including “sobriety,” “five beers,” “ten beers” and “blackout,” based on perceived degree of desirability. Some are also given “overall grades” of “HIT” or “miss.” (The News obtained the e-mail but is not reprinting it in full to protect the privacy of the students named in the message.)

I was reminded of this controversy from a couple weeks ago when I read a separate story today in the Yale Daily News, which commemorated the 40th anniversary of coeducation at Yale. Check out the paragraph under the heading “Popular Girls.” Some things never change.

“Porn in the Morn” at Yale no Longer

The enormously popular Yale course “Biology of Gender and Human Sexuality” (commonly referred to by students as “Porn in the Morn” has been stripped of its status as a science course by the Yale College Science Council. It will no longer meet the undergraduate science distributional requirement.

Yale professor of radiology, William Summers

Yale professor of radiology, William Summers

As a result, professor William Summers has decided to stop teaching the course. From the Yale Daily News:

Last spring, 357 students took the iconic course — mainly freshman and sophomores. Enrollment peaked in 2005 when 546 took “Porn in the Morn.”

That year, Summers had to split the class in two because space wasn’t available for the full 546-student lecture. Summers would lecture the same material twice a day, two days a week.

The next semester, Summers taught “Porn in the Morn” from the auditorium in the Yale Law School, one of the largest lecture spaces on central campus. It was a setting where some students first learned the concept of the G-spot, or first saw an image of a crowning baby (the projection of which on the auditorium screen caused several students to walk out). Summers was known to invoke aliens on his exams, a trope “to suggest that one look at the issue [of sexual dimorphism] without any preconceived assumptions,” he wrote in an e-mail to the News.

Click here for full story.

There are two angles to this story. On one hand, it shows how ridiculously low academic standards have gotten at some of our nation’s top universities. What ever happened to – you know – actual biology, chemistry, and physics? On the other hand, what is a professor of radiology doing teaching a class on human sexuality anyway? What is his motivation? Is this a personal hobby? It’s a bit odd and creepy to me.

I had an acrimonious exchange once with Summers on an unrelated issue while I was at Yale. But never took a class from him. He is known to be quite close to Yale’s president, Richard Levin. And while he may be a fine professor, his notion that examining gender as a social construct and looking at vaginas on PowerPoint makes for a good science education is emblematic of the damage extreme liberalism has done to our higher education system, where academic excellence and morality seem to be in a tandem decline.

Suspect Charged in Yale Med Student Slaying

The New York Times reports that a co-worker has been charged with 24-year-old med student’s murder.

Meanwhile, the Yale Daily News runs a “he was a typical nice guy” story on the alleged killer’s years as a high school athlete. Creepy photos included.

Annie Le was strangled to death, according to the medical examiner’s report. No word on whether she was sexually assaulted. But Le’s body was found on what was to be her wedding day. More details on the killer’s motive will undoubtedly emerge.

Isn’t it chilling how love, lust and violence are so often linked together?

Dr. Ruth at Yale

Nothin’ like a 4 and 1/2 foot tall grandmother giving a sex talk.

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She’s actually teaching a course here this semester.

Why I’m Doing This.

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A week ago I thought that maybe, just maybe I was dying. I went to see my doctor about some throat pain. Next thing it’s to the ultrasound specialist. A few days later they send me to get – a biopsy.

I walked into the room and sat up on the big cushiony table. I glanced over at the computer monitor. It had my name, age, sex (mismarked female). Down at the bottom:

“Lump in Neck. Multiple Thyroid Cysts.”

In that moment – even though you tell yourself it’s likely nothing serious – you feel what it might be like to find out the worst.

The spectre of mortality produces a clarifying state of mind. In that state of clarity you think of all you’ve done and all that’s left to do. I’ve seldom managed to be satisfied with the present. But surprisingly, as I sat in the examination room, I felt pretty good about the life I’ve lived thus far. I felt especially thankful for my time with Jennifer these last five years. I felt proud of the album I’ve recorded, which is due to release soon, and pleased that I scratched and clawed my way into Yale after years of trying.

Turns out they’re 99.9% sure that the cysts are benign. So what’s next?

This blog is one of a hundred things I’ve meant to do.