Commentary

Why We Don’t Have Sex

More than 18 percent of Phillips Academy students have had sex, according to the recent Phillipian State of the Academy survey. Compared to the rest of the United States, this percentage is very low. According to a 2005 Center for Disease Control youth risk assessment, 46.8 percent of high-school students engaged in sexual intercourse in that year. Why should this be? Is the school being two and half times too in loco parentis, or are the numbers the result of the students’ own active decision? If nothing were to change in the next month, nearly 70 percent of Andover students will graduate virgins. But why are we be so different? Are we any different from teenagers who attend public school and are free to go anywhere at any time? Is the Andover bubble robbing students of an important part of their social lives? I say no. Phillips Academy may seem to discourage sex, but students are free to make their own choices. The low percentage of sexually active students is not the school’s doing, instead, students are actively deciding to wait. When I first saw the results of the State of the Academy survey two weeks ago, I was shocked. 18.4 percent seemed to be incredibly high to me. Imagine how shocked I was when I learned that the statistic we have here at PA is miniscule compared to the average of the United States of America. Why are teenagers deciding to have sex so early in their lives? It seems that adolescents across America are not stopping to make the choice, instead they are making sex the goal of any romantic relationship that they are a part of. By coming to Andover, yes, students are restricted when it comes to sex. But, I believe that they are educated enough to make their own decisions. At Andover, we are not constantly shown images of teen sex by shows like “The O.C” or “One Tree Hill,” and we are not able to go out to ridiculous parties where girls and guys can do as they please. Instead, we are given the Blue Book which tells us specified hours during the day when we can visit rooms. We are placed in dorms where House Counselors can watch over us. In the end, it may seem that we have sacrificed our potential sex lives for academic opportunities. But that statement is false. We are given the choice to have sex if we want to, but we are also trusted that we will make an educated decision that we will not regret. Isham provides condoms to those who wish to use them, but in exchange they make us listen to lectures about safe practices in Gym Class. Phillips Academy is not taking away our freedom or our ability to make our own choices when it comes to sex. It may seem that the administration is trying to discourage sexual activity among students, but it understands that the choice is not theirs to make. There will be students who believe that they are ready to have sex, and hopefully they will make a decision that they will not regret. Although it may be difficult to have sex on campus, I believe that students who firmly trust their judgment should not be held back or judged. It is their decision to make. These people may be a minority at PA, as they account for only 18.4 percent of the student body, but they are still free to make that choice. The rest of the student body just does not feel the need to have sex at this point in their lives. There may be a variety of reasons for this: religion, upbringing, the workload of Andover or just waiting for the right person Whatever the reason, students are choosing not to have sex; the administration is not making that choice for them. Michael Yoon is a two-year Lower. myoon@andover.edu