We’re more than sex

Popular TV portrayals grossly exaggerate the sex lives of college students and young adults.

Connor Nikolic

It’s 7 p.m. and you’re bored, so you start surfing channels for something worthwhile. Maybe you will scroll through Netflix to catch up on your favorite
drama series.

In any case, you’ll find college sex stereotypes on just about any station. On shows with characters roughly the same age as University of Minnesota students, characters are having sex or talking about having sex. Modern-day TV and film is far off base on the numbers of college kids doing the dirty
via hook-ups.

I just finished the first season of Spike TV’s hilarious take on college life, “Blue Mountain State,” on Netflix. I love the show, but there is no denying that the amount of sexual acts characters engage in is crazy and in no way accurate to a real university. For those who haven’t watched the show, imagine “American Pie” with football.

“Blue Mountain State” is, of course, not the only show depicting teens and college students as one-track-minded on Friday and Saturday nights. In fact, the landscape of TV today is more accepting of high school and college hook-up culture than ever before. Fox’s “Glee,” MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” HBO’s “Girls” and The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” are a few of the shows breaking barriers of acceptability on a weekly basis. Even ABC Family (“Pretty Little Liars,” “Greek,” etc.) has upped its raunch in the past six or seven years to reach its young adults.

Contrary to popular belief, the average Minnesota college student is not a sex-craving, hormone-driven love machine.

According to the Boynton Health Services 2012 College Student Health Survey, 82.5 percent of University students had sex with one or zero partners in the past year. Of those who reported having intercourse in the past 12 months, 86 percent said their partner was either a spouse, fiancé or an exclusive dating partner. About 4 percent said their most recent sexual partner was a casual acquaintance.

Regardless of what television indicates, teens and young adults are not having nearly as many sexual encounters as our counterparts on screen.

So why have networks like ABC Family, Spike TV and Fox strived to show us this minority of college students?

The answer is simple: Sex sells. More and more programs are pushing the envelope for viewers’ desire to see their favorite on-screen pairs end up in the sheets together. The producers don’t care if they misrepresent university life when millions of people are watching their programs every week. If the people buy it, they’ll do their diligence to keep on supplying.

The group most commonly misunderstood by these shows is the greek system. The frat guys are shown throwing huge parties every weekend or playing sports, while the sororities are either obnoxious “goody-good” girls who made it here on Daddy’s dime or provocateurs. I think we can agree that this is not the best representation of greek life at our school.

Yes, I know of a few guys and gals who do justice to these promiscuous characters. But they’re the outliers. The vast majority of University students are much less adventurous in their sex lives. We aren’t all necessarily into “casual acquaintances.” We don’t fit the TV stereotype that seems to have a different definition of love in college.