Nate Jackson / May 12, 2020

Due Process Can't Restore Morality on Campus

The underlying problem at American universities is rampant sexual immorality.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently undid much damage done by Joe Biden and the Obama administration by restoring basic due process to cases of alleged sexual assault on college campuses. One thing she did not — and could not — do, however, is restore basic morality on those campuses.

As this author has previously written, morality based on consent isn’t morality at all. In other words, just because two unmarried individuals engage in consensual sex doesn’t make that sex moral. And just because the 1960s ushered in the age of “free love” and sex “without consequences” doesn’t mean there aren’t very real consequences from this debauchery.

For one thing, many young men seem to have concluded that young women owe them sexual pleasure, and if that is denied, they’ll push to take it. Throw in copious amounts of alcohol, and the young woman is at best impaired and at worst utterly incapable of granting true consent. Either way, she’ll likely come to regret it in the morning. That is unfortunate enough, but in too many cases that regret becomes the entire basis for punishing that young man.

Toxic masculinity, meet militant feminism.

Yet Title IX offices on college campuses are awash in the vile trinkets of “adult” bookstores. Teresa Manning, director of the Title IX Project at the National Association of Scholars, writes, “These offices … happily distribute tools to encourage the ‘hook-up culture’ of numerous, transient sexual encounters: ‘Condom corners’ featuring the free, colored and flavored (‘If it’s flavored, it’s meant to be tasted!’); finger condoms; dental dams; and Planned Parenthood brochures advertising abortifacients and all manner of sexual practices.”

Manning then asks about the elephant (not) in the room: “Do Title IX offices ever encourage healthy relationships as a way of avoiding misunderstandings that lead to Title IX complaints?”

She also hinted at another “feature” of campus culture: abortion. Whether it’s a pill or a procedure, there are at least 800,000 abortions in the U.S. every year. How many of these babies were conceived at your local university during a “consequence free” hookup?

Again, what Secretary DeVos accomplished for Rule of Law is worthy of applause. But we can’t help but feel like it’s somewhat of a hollow victory given the deeper problems plaguing our society.

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