Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Secret lives of students

How sex and spirituality relate (or fail to) on campus.
By Jane Lampman
May 27, 2008

It began in a college course on dating, where students’ honest feelings dribbled out about the sexual ethos on campus. Most were quite unhappy with the “hookup culture” – the casual sex many felt pressed to participate in but secretly hated. That class at a Roman Catholic college gave birth to a national research project and to this candid, disturbing, yet ultimately hopeful new book by Donna Freitas: Sex & the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America’s College Campuses.

Freitas, now an assistant professor of religion at Boston University, raises a clarion call. Her engrossing book captures the poignant, intimate struggles of students at a variety of colleges and universities, many of whom find that their religious upbringing has not given them the resources to navigate a destructive social environment.

Today’s college students are intrigued with religion and spirituality – particularly spirituality, studies show. Yet Freitas found that her own students – students at a religious college – saw little or no connection between their faith and their decisions on sexual behavior. She wondered if it might be different on other campuses. the rest


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