Let’s not talk about sex

If there’s one thing that describes college, it’s sex. At least according to the media.

Search “college” and the common term “hook up” and you’ll get about 536,000 hits on Google. That site turns up about 673,000 hits if you replace “college” with “university.”

I dare you to google sex and college student. Just make sure you have “safe search” turned on.

Yes, if there’s anything we students are about it’s the horizontal mambo. And alcohol. And drugs.

But mostly sex.

We’re bombarded with articles and shows that feign horror at how college students are “hooking up,” or surprise when we aren’t. Parents are freaking out that their precious snowflakes aren’t quite as pure as they had thought.

Never mind that no one is quite sure what “hooking up” means. Urbandictionary.com, a popular slang dictionary, has 22 definitions on the term, ranging from a one-night stand to locking lips to simply “receiving a good or service.”

Well, I guess that last one falls under the other two definitions.

Scientific studies often describe “hooking up” as “a sexual encounter which may or may not include intercourse,” such as one did in the Journal of Sex Research.

Still, it seems as though most people think pupils ponder on penetration. USA Today quoted one researcher using the alarmist dialogue of “hormones run rampant.”

Bill O’Reilly talked about students exchanging more than just gifts on Valentine’s Day. He interviewed Alecia Oleyourryk, author of erotic anthology “Boink: College sex by the people having it,” about students’ sexual habits Feb. 11.

The college student said no one knows about how many students are having sex in universities.

Not exactly unexpected. One group consistently and surprisingly has little knowledge of how much sex college students are having – college students.

Kathleen A. Bogle, author of “Hooking up: Sex, Dating and Relationships on Campus,” told insidehighered.org about her findings on the subject.

“Students often perceive that others hook up more often and go farther sexually during hookup encounters,” she said, adding that such misconceptions skew students’ behaviors.

In other words, if you think you’re the only one not getting any, you’re not alone.

In fact, a study from February of 2006 in the Journal of Sexual Research declared, “Among the 63.9% of Americans who pursue postsecondary education immediately after graduating from high school, levels of sexual activity are likely lower than in high school.”

Now, I’m not saying that sex doesn’t happen. Trying to study while living in the dorms for a year with the squeaky beds, thin walls and “Oh, oh, oh God yeah!” taught me that.

But students aren’t a group of sex-crazed, hormone-infused animals. Yes, college students do sometimes hook up. Yes they sometimes party. Yes “experimenting” does happen.

Yet college students also form and possess opinions on subjects ranging from pop culture to politics, from sports to the arts, from Marxism to marriage.

Students are adults – adults who thoughtfully ponder about more than just penises, pussy, pot and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

And it’d be nice if our parents and the media started treating us that way.