Sex and the college girl
I've been trying to ignore Tom Wolfe's newest paranoid screed. I really have. But it's just increasing the number of paranoid articles about the "hooking up" culture on college campuses. Through Roy Edroso, here is an NRO review of the book that explicitly draws this line to the reviewer's (John Derbyshire) own desire to control his daughter's sex life after she becomes a legal adult.
One thing I very particularly wanted to know, as father of a bright, pretty, almost-12-year-old girl, is: How true is Wolfe's portrait of elite-campus life? Are modern college campuses really such riots of drunkenness and affectless sexual "hooking up"?
The thing I find interesting about this obsession with the sex lives of young women is that lately the paranoid screeds about "hooking up" culture are always focused on the sex lives of college students. Even though Derbyshire gives perfunctory attention to the fact that the more dedicated a girl is to her studies, the more likely she will put off sex to a later age, there is no indication that he understands that young women who don't go to college also have sex outside of marriage. (I'm not even going into how he bemoans that his daughter is likely to have sex in college and then pities his college-age male friend who can't get laid because he's a right-winger.)
Why all the attention to the sex lives of college girls and not to girls who don't go to college? My guess is that the paranoia about "hooking up" is really just the modern manifestation of the ancient belief that education ruins women. People can't just come out and say that educated, intelligent women are unmarriageable, but they can say that they fear that college enviroments lead women to slutty behavior, the implication being that they are now unmarriageable.