The word “democracy” is derived from two Greek words, “demos” (people) and “kratia” (rule) — thus, “rule by the people” or self government. A republic is a type of democracy via elected representatives. Inherent in the concept of democratic self-government is a central conviction of the American Founding Fathers that all human beings have the capacity for reason. How else can a people discern their interests and so vote for the most rational and efficient means to achieve their ends?
At the same time as our Founders were convinced that we are endowed with reason, they also were mindful of an opposing human impulse — the sway of our irrational tempers or passions. As James Madison put it:
But the mild voice of reason, pleading the cause of an enlarged and permanent interest, is but too often drowned, before public bodies as well as individuals, by the clamors of an impatient avidity for immediate and immoderate gain. -Federalist No. 42, January 22, 1788.
Two pieces of recent news provide apt illustration of human irrationality that, in turn, brings into question the feasibility of self-government.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the highest prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is among the young: “Estimates suggest that even though young people aged 15–24 years represent only 25% of the sexually experienced population, they acquire nearly half of all new STDs.”
But a recent article by Meredith Cohn in the Baltimore Sun, Feb. 21, 2011, tells us that although “Up to half of sexually active young people will get a sexually transmitted disease by the time they are 25, yet many don’t seek testing because it may be difficult, costly or embarrassing.”
At the same time as at-risk young people eschew being tested for STDs, they have embraced the new phenomenon of “hookups” (also called “booty calls” or “friends with benefits”) — having sex with someone with whom one is not in a relationship. Stripped of its urban slang patina, hookups really are just casual sex, which is just another word for promiscuity.
Last April, CNN’s Stephanie Chen wrote that casual hook ups fueled by alcohol has become the norm across college campuses. “Almost every weekend, there is a tradition called raging at Vanderbilt University” — casual hookups with a stranger or acquaintance “fueled by alcohol.” Studies found as many as 75% of women have engaged in hooking up on campus, with the number even higher for men.
Flash forward to a year later. Enterprising students at the University of Chicago has found a way to better facilitate hookups — i.e., help students to be promiscuous. The Chicago Tribune reports on March 18, 2011 that a new site, UChicago Hookups, connects students at the University of Chicago or its Booth School of Business looking for a no-strings attached hookup.
“We’re trying to change the ages-old stereotype that UChicago students are severely sexually deprived. With that in mind, if you’re looking for ‘where fun comes to die,’ you’ve come to the wrong place,” according to the site created by a group of undergrads. Instead, the site’s tagline is “where fun comes to thrive.”
Only students with a school email account can post and respond to fellow students looking online for casual sex. Launched last month, UChicago Hookups had 77 posts as of Thursday (March 17), most from guys looking for women. The site claims more than 200 registered users; more than 1,000 private messages have been sent.
The following video on college hookups shows that – SURPRISE! – women feel exploited by hookups!
In fact, more and more college women are quitting hookups because of the “emotional devastation” of those “whose hearts are broken by the hook-up scene.” Nor are the broken hearts exclusively women’s.
Sexual promiscuity is especially damaging to females, on both their physical and emotional wellbeing. Did you know that females secrete oxytocin upon orgasm? A mammalian hormone that acts primarily as a neuromodulator in the brain, oxytocin is also called the love or bonding hormone. Women also secrete oxytocin during childbirth and nursing, which binds mother to baby. Sex is not casual; oxytocin emotionally binds women to their sexual partners. No wonder college women feel emotionally devastated, their hearts broken, by participating in hookups!
The more things change, the more things remain the same. Human beings yearn for love — for an other who knows, loves, and cherishes us for who we are.
Hookups Casual promiscuous sex is not the way to find it. For we were made in His image with inherent dignity. So when we cheapen our body by treating it as a piece of meat, we devalue our very being and soul.