It seems that Todd Hartch doesn’t understand the situation regarding the cessation of resources providing free condoms to Eastern’s students and has quite foolishly misjudged human nature on several counts.  Hartch has committed a logical fallacy in his interpretation of the statement “college students are going to have sex.” By interpreting this as some sort of damning statement that implies every single student on campus is a sex-crazed Quagmire, occupied with nothing more than sweat soaked flesh and ever weakening bed frames.  The obvious answer to which is, of course, abstinence- the “morally right” choice.

        This is nothing short of alarmism.  The statement of the previous editorial said “college students,” not “all college students.”  These two interpretations are hugely different and reside at the very core of the issue at hand.  The latter is an utterly false assumption that does nothing more than demonize the speaker’s opponents and polarizes the audience against them.  The former is closer to the truth of the matter in that, yes, some college students are indeed going to have sex; precisely because we are, as Hartch himself stated, “moral free agents” who are capable of making decisions based on their own rationality, experience and understanding. 

       Hartch’s idea of abstinence as the best protection against unwanted pregnancy and disease is not a bad idea, but positing it as the only alternative is incredibly stupid and shortsighted. It reveals how little he actually understands about human nature.  I’m all for abstinence, because it is the only 100 percent effective method. The fact of the matter, though, is it only works if one is willing to be abstinent.  I enjoy sex to a great degree, but I’m certainly no slave to my testes.  Sex can be fun, relaxing and a great way to connect with another person; there can even be closeness without it necessarily being “romantic” or part of a relationship.  And for some that appeals more than “saving themselves for marriage,” especially considering with near absolute certainty, one’s first sexual encounter will be quite awkward.

        Besides those who see sex as a form of interaction or self-expression, there are instances where a poor decision gets made.  It’s especially easy in today’s hyper- sexualized society, blossoming teens are constantly bombarded with propaganda bordering on dogma that sexy is what you’re supposed to be, and if you aren’t, you’ll be nothing short of ostracized.  That, however, is a topic that can fill its own page.  Now it stands to reason if one is planning on having sex, one should be prepared for the situation, but as we have already established, “good” decisions are not always made. We are, after all, only human.  But it seems that rather than taking every step available to help our young college students protect themselves- providing condoms, actually discussing safe sex, offering health services and counseling- Hartch seems content to sit high upon his pedestal looking down upon us animalistic savages and judge us for making the “wrong” decision when his is obviously the right one to be made.  Human beings do possess great dignity, Hartch. How about you stop cheapening it by not depicting us as prisoners of our sexual desires, and instead, work to help foster good decision making that relies on more than an unrealistic expectation that is met by only a few.


Joshua Miller