Friday, April 30, 2010
Student Opinions & Awkwardness on Sexuality at Rhodes
Today I did an URCAS presentation regarding my internship with Planned Parenthood last semester. The other intern and I created video podcasts for PPGMR (greater Memphis region) and talked about our experiences. Many people refused to speak to us about sexuality. We asked a variety of questions and it was mainly about birth control, but questions regarding sexuality were included. Most people (all Rhodes students by the way) said no, but some that did agree to be interviewed asked us to either blur their face out or only film their hands as they attempted to put a condom on a banana. 50% of the people that put condoms on bananas by the way did it incorrectly which I don’t think bode very well for Rhodes. While Rhodes does have a relatively active Gay Straight Alliance and an almost brand new VOX Chapter, many people seem completely uncomfortable with talking about sexuality in any way. Some guys I talked to (and yes honestly I stereotyped them because they were in a frat which I shouldn’t have done) didn’t want to talk about sex at all which totally surprised me. The general lack of misinformation and myth that we encountered here was quite unexpected and slightly depressing. As I think about it, I feel like there are plenty of factors that contribute to the discomfort of Rhodes students. Being part of the Bible belt doesn’t help us, I think. I also think that a lack of understanding and sex education in high school is another reason so many people were so awkward. In many states, abstinence-only is the only form of sex education taught. Not only do I disagree with that, I find that these programs reinforce heteronormativity. Many of the programs are no-sex-till-marriage classes and as LGBTIQ people cannot marry, lots of information and questions they have are not addressed. Does anyone else have any opinions on why Rhodes is so awkward about sex and sexuality in general?