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Student Choices: What Will Sex Mean?

Wednesday, Apr. 29, 2009

The Ethics Center is developing a set of cases that raise everyday dilemmas for college students.  Cases are based on real-life experiences reported by American college students.  In this story, written up by student worker Rebecca Fox-Bivona, a freshman considers whether to remain a virgin:

Katherine entered college with a very high standard for herself regarding sex.  She is proud of her choice to remain a virgin until marriage.  Now she has met the most amazing guy during the fall term of her freshman year.  Max, her boyfriend, believes physical affection and even sex are important ways of showing how much two people care for each other.  He has pressed Katherine to express their growing romance sexually, but so far she has said no.

Should Katherine revise her beliefs about sex because someone she respects and wants to have a deep relationship with believes differently?  His views are probably the mainstream views among their friends, she realizes.   

Should Max keep pressing her for sex?  Is his bringing it up often a legitimate part of his wanting to express his love for her?  Or do his frequent suggestions show a lack of respect for her beliefs?