The Bill Veeck Show: Sex And The College Student

Host Bill Veeck and his guests discuss the issue of sex on college campuses. Dr. Alfred Flarsheim had recently published a book called "Sex and the College Student," so his research was used as a guide. The other two guests, Andrea Tyree and Frank Wallace, were described as consultants. The panel's feeling is that at that point in history, sexual morality was shifting, due in large part to the widespread availability of birth control methods. The guests describe sexuality as switching from being bounded by public morality to a private morality. The feeling is that since pregnancy is no longer a concern, the moral issue for couples is now whether sex is the "right" thing to do in the context of their relationship. The discussion moves between topics, but generally focuses on whether/how to enforce moral norms onto sexuality.

The figures referenced are: 70% of students graduate Vassar College having had sex. Wallace says that 20 years ago, most men’s initial sexual experiences were with prostitutes, and now since these experiences are happening with girls they date, there is more of an emphasis on love, marriage, etc. Tyree reports that the median age for a first marriage is 20 for females and 23 for males, and claims this means that unmarried kids of the same age feel like they should also be having sex.

00:01Copy video clip URL Veeck leading into a commercial break.

00:30Copy video clip URL Open to round table with Bill Veeck, Dr. Alfred Flarsheim, Andrea Tyree, and Frank Wallace. They are discussing Flarsheim’s book “Sex and the College Student.”

1:30Copy video clip URL Veeckl asks Flarsheim what the most important change has been for college students. Flarsheim responds with a differentiation of and shift towards private versus public morality, because birth control has become more reliable. So, because students have no cause to remain a virgin (for fear of pregnancy), they are faced with a new choice about their sexualities.

2:20Copy video clip URL Andrea Tyree responds about the “question of sex.” She maintains that it has become a very important question because, agreeing with Flarsheim, they are faced with a question they must decide on: “Some of the restrictions that used to be operative are no longer operative.”

3:22Copy video clip URL Veeck asks Tyree to make a calculated guess as to the percentage of pre-marital sex on the college campus: “Most students.” Wallace maintains that over 70% of students at Vassar have sex before graduating. Tyree says that these students are in a culture where sex is expected. This figure, they note, defies common morality.

4:57Copy video clip URL Veeck brings up an “interesting book about China” that claims that no one in China except a very small minority are allowed to marry before they’re 25. Wallace: “Is this the morality of the people or the legislation from the government?”

6:09Copy video clip URL Veeck asks Flarsheim whether girls are worried about the pressure of risk-free sex. Flarsheim: “They are thrown back onto themselves about how they feel/think about sex.”

7:25Copy video clip URL Tyree describes that the new pressure to have sex while being in love is an attempt to match up the fact of the matter with older value systems that sanctify sex.

8:45Copy video clip URL Flarsheim talks about a reversal insofar as women are chasing reluctant men.

11:16Copy video clip URL Flarsheim maintains that college students feel stronger on their own and the value systems from their families no longer fit their needs; “there’s nothing really even to rebel against” from the past moral systems. “What they have to do is decide…they’re leaving behind their own background, their own childhood, this is difficult for them–what are they going toward? This is enormously difficult.”

12:55Copy video clip URL Commercial break (black).

13:21Copy video clip URL Veeck: “I do think we’ve reached a conclusion that it is here to stay [sexuality is changing on college campuses]. Do you think this is a good thing?” Flarsheim says openness is a positive aspect of the sexual movement, but abortions are an extremely negative aspect. “A legal abortion for many girls is more traumatic because she thinks it was done to her as opposed to having done it herself.”

16:10Copy video clip URL Wallace: “It is valuable to be able to discuss it” as opposed to being told authoritatively “no” against premarital sex. Tyree: Many college students are not completely able to make decisions due to developmental issues. “Is it good for them [not-fully-developed students] to have this decision or is it worse to restrict those who are capable of making the decision?”

17:57Copy video clip URL Wallace: “Is there any way to teach morality?” What other ways are there, besides biology, to teach sex? Tyree: “How can you teach a morality without a consensus?” Wallace references Erich Fromm’s humanistic morality.

19:47Copy video clip URL Topic turns to co-ed dorms. Flarsheim talks about psychiatric intervention in infancy.

20:26Copy video clip URL Commercial break.

20:46Copy video clip URL Question of rules governing sexuality in college. Depends on the university and the population. “In locus parentus” [the parent’s place] is the silver bullet for proper maturation in students, Flarsheim maintains, but parents are confused and we cannot assume that any are up to the responsibility.

23:20Copy video clip URL Concluding remarks. Veeck describes Flarsheim’s book as raising many important questions, but providing almost no answers.

23:58Copy video clip URL Credits.

24:20Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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