Promoting abstinence in college is a silly thing. I'm talking about sex, by the way - not from coffee like one of my supervisors is doing for Lent, much to my chagrin (no office coffee pot anymore) .
An AP news item in today's CNN.com talks about two Harvard seniors, Sarah Kinsella and Justin Murray, who are tired of being surrounded with what they deem a hive's nest of sexual activity. This is probably because their holier-than-thou chastity heightens their sensitivity to anything remotely titillating. Their solution was to form True Love Revolution, a group dedicated to including the discussion of abstinence in Harvard health programs.
The group has been roundly criticized for various reasons, and one of the founders has complained that such a diverse and open college community would be so closed-minded toward them. There may be a reason for this criticism.
The Virgin Kinsella says that the University promotes sex by giving out condoms to freshmen, by scheduling "racy" lectures (OH NO, a racy lecture!!!...MUST....HAVE....FILTHY....SEX!!!), and - GET THIS - by not discussing abstinence in the freshman seminar about date rape.
I say again: according to the Virgin, abstinence should be discussed in the seminar about date rape. Last time I checked, rapists don't normally ponder the virtues of abstinence.
The fact of the matter is, the University wants to maintain a clean, healthy environment for its students, and to promote clean, healthy relationships. If you want to have sex, please do so intelligently. Don't get pregnant and don't get a disease, and certainly don't pass on this disease to others. The only way to do this is through adequate contraception, not through recanting Hail Marys or remaining true to your "convictions." Convictions change, often right before the shit hits the fan.
For more skeptical analyses on abstinence programs, go to Penn & Teller's show Bullshit! (Show #49, Seasons Four). Here is a clip from that episode.