IT’S NO SECRET THAT college campuses tend left. A professor brainwashes his students here, a radical student group opposes fighting al-Qaeda there. Until now, though, little attention has been paid to another aspect of collegiate life: mental health services.
It’s a touchy subject indeed. The author of Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in her Profession Endangers Every Student goes by “Anonymous, M.D.” The work has moments of stunning brilliance, though the author strays from her areas of expertise and sometimes writes with overexuberance.
Chapter I is the book’s crown jewel, with Anonymous walking the path of hot coals known as promiscuous sex. She’s not concerned with STDs or morality yet, though — it turns out sexual activity has emotional consequences particularly pronounced in women.
The author tackles the topic almost effortlessly, starting with the story of “Heather,” who began experiencing “moodiness and crying spells” after obtaining a “friend with benefits.” Anonymous argues that Heather’s problem is oxytocin, a hormone that induces birth and, more importantly for a 19-year-old, creates a sense of attachment and trust.
It’s released during sexual activity, even when Heather is “‘hooking up’ with men whose last intention is to bond.” Anonymous also cites evidence that sexually active teen females experience more depression and suicide attempts than inactive girls, and that romantic involvement hurts young females more than it hurts males.
Worst of all, the mental health profession is silent. There are no brochures, no policy statements from prominent organizations on the topic. The establishment is too focused on the dogmas that men and women are the same and sex with protection is harmless.
Perhaps most interesting is the case Anonymous builds from this information: Campus mental health professionals should actively promote student chastity — not necessarily in an abstinence-only fashion, but in an abstinence-encouraging one. A health nannyism of the right, if you will.
Many, libertarians in particular, will have a problem with this. The argument goes that doctors should inform patients of their risks and let their customers work out the tradeoffs. A physician is obliged to tell a patient that smoking kills, but the patient gets to decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks.
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