Carol Platt Liebau: Hardly a Cold Shower

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Hardly a Cold Shower

It's a pretty pathetic sign of the times that the master of a Yale residential college has had to send a note to its residents asking them to refrain from having sex in the shower -- in bathrooms that are shared space.

Revealingly, the tenor of the college master's note reveals an unwillingness to be perceived as "uptight" or "prudish." Surely other violations of the common civility that's required for community living -- from unauthorized smoking to throwing up from excessive drinking in bathrooms -- would be treated with just a bit less levity.

When colleges gave up any obligation to serve in loco parentis, could they have ever foreseen a day when couples would feel no inhibitions about this kind of nappropriate -- and, frankly, wrong -- behavior?


Blogger Marshall Art said...

"Higher" learning, indeed.

9:30 PM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

So I take it, Carol, that you would like to set up anti-adultery laws?

7:33 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Good question, Salient.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

You should take it, OSO, that Carol, as do I and many others, would prefer that indecency laws are enforced, and that the spirit of such laws is promoted by the universities. These are not private facilities we are talking about, but shared or public space. As for adultery, each should have the class and character to render unnecessary any such talk of "anti-adultery" laws. How about a little self-control?

6:29 AM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

Aah my firned OSO we disagree again. I think the thrust of this discussion is obvious. As a parent I sent my kids to college. While they lived under my roof I imposed a set of rules that I feel are supported by our society.

Simple rules like personal responsibility and a sense of the value of self.

I want the basic morality that we all share enforced by the school. I do not think an 18 or a twenty year old always has the ability to make these decisions.

Like Carol and many of her readers I regret the immorality that my generation (us baby boomers) foisted on our society.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I think Salient's question is a good one. I would answer it thusly:

No, I don't wish to enact anti-adultery laws. But I do wish to appeal to the morality of all those who would listen in hopes they would choose to act decently.

I would further argue that there is plenty of evidence that good moral behavior is not only the right thing to do, but it is also good for society in general.

Mentioning the decline of decent morals on a blog is not even remotely akin to legislating morality. But it is definitly in line with the time-honored tradition of public debate and persuasion.

I would not enact anti-adultery laws. But I would humbly encourage all to honor their relationship commitments and to behave in a manner that is becoming of a civilized society.

9:40 AM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...


Sexual experiences outside of marriage have been going on for a long time. The sixties just legitimized it socially.

I agree that personal responsibilty is an important value to have. Yet I fail to see why universities should enforce morals upon people who are essentially adults.

By the time a person reaches 18 they have pretty much ceased to be a child and are no longer under their parents authority. They need to go out into the world and make mistakes if they so desire.

For crying out loud! We're sending kids this age to Iraq! We're expecting them to act like adults... so we should treat them like adults and let them make up their own minds as to what they should do in life.

For the record, I am an evangelical Christian who believes that sex should be confined within heterosexual marriage because that is the only way God intended us to enjoy it. The only person I have ever had sexual relations with is my wife.

But, as a Christian, I know that the world is full of unbelievers who do not follow God's laws. It does not frighten me or shock me that these people choose to disobey God's laws and commit sexual sins.

I don't believe the answer is for the state to enforce the laws of God, but for the church to preach the Gospel and heavily promote sexual purity amongst its members.

Considering the amount of born-again Christians and evangelical leaders in the US who are sexually immoral, I think the church is the best (and only) place to start.

2:17 PM  

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