Duke University students: you should not ‘just sit around and masturbate’
A Duke University study on sex toys has raised the ire of the University’s Catholic Center director. But not because he’s worried about the 18-year-old participants who might be breaking vows of celibacy, and doing it with handcuffs and vibrators. Instead, Father Joe Vetter says he’s concerned that the study will encourage young women to “just sit around and masturbate” instead of hitting up singles night to track down their future husband.
The study, being conducted by a behavioral economist and student health workers, was advertised around the Duke campus for much of October. Researchers were interested in female attitudes towards sex and sexually-themed “toys” and paraphernalia. Women filled out a survey and took part in a one-hour meeting, where they were asked to view sex toys and discuss them with other participants. As incentive to donate their time, the women were all offered a gift bag, and discounts on the items – a sex-themed Tupperware party, if you will.
You’d think Father Vetter would be pleased: student health workers say they hope the study will shed light on whether sex toys can be a useful tool in curbing campus promiscuity. But no:
“I’m concerned about promiscuity also,” Vetter said. “And to be honest, I don’t have the solution. … My concern is these students are in this developmental phase, and I don’t think it’s a good developmental practice to just tell somebody to just sit around and masturbate. I don’t think that promotes relationships.”
Sit around and masturbate? Yes, that sounds exactly like what this study was suggesting: just load up on discounted vibrators, a Sade CD and some scented candles for your dorm room, girls. Is Vetter concerned that we’re all going to stop procreating once we realize that getting off is generally easier without male intervention? If he’s so convinced that sex toys can out-sex men, to the extent that women are just going to play solo from now on, maybe Vetter needs some couples counseling and a stack of helpful reading material.
The study is already completed, but Vetter still plans to protest, by speaking on the topic at mass this weekend. Unfortunately, he’ll probably be preaching to the converted, anti-sex-toy among us. I’m pretty sure the women from the study have – uh – other plans on Sunday morning.