The kissing, the hugging, the constant body-to-body contact, might be acceptable behind closed doors, but when it’s flaunted in public, it becomes a problem.
Public displays of affection (PDA) can be driven by many things. In some instances, the couple is so “in love” and unaware of who is around them. For those “thrill seekers”, PDA is just another way to get their adrenaline pumping and cross lines.
According to a study by Karen Wu, a professor at Suwanee University, PDA is prevalent on college campuses. The study showed that students admitted to committing these acts from something as small as a pop kiss to more extreme sexual acts such as having sexual intercourse on the university campus. So what about those who feel uncomfortable?
“Most people would be uncomfortable unless they were going to a movie and expected to see that,” said Yolanda Bogan, director for Florida A&M’s Sunshine Manor Counseling Center. “I don’t think it’s appropriate to see outlandish PDA at an educational institute especially going to or from an office.”
Whereas most are grossed out by it on campus, others don’t mind it.
“I don’t mind a little PDA,” said Charles McKinny, a junior economics student from Tampa. “But watching a couple tongue each other down in the café is not what I want to see.”
FAMU does not have a clause that addresses PDA on campus and for some this can be a problem. Although not a formal rule, students are expected to respect the classroom as well as their instructors.
“The classroom is not the place for PDA,” said Ifeakandu Okoye, a professor and chair of the economics department at FAMU. “There are somethings that are appropriate and somethings that are inappropriate.”
Not only does PDA affect the classroom setting, but it may also affect the way people interact with one another on a daily basis.
“No one wants to sit around and watch their friend make out with their partner,” said Alicia Brown a freshman history student from Orlando. “It’s awkward and disgusting. I don’t want to see what you do with each other in public, get a room or so something.”
Not all PDA is frowned upon.Holding hands and short kisses are acceptable and appreciated in most cases. There are other acts that can display PDA without making everyone feel uncomfortable. Holding the door open for a significant other, placing a hand above the small of their back, holding hands, even the way they look at one another.
“Personally I can tolerate kissing and hugging for a brief period,” said Ismail Rushdan a senior biology student from Tallahassee. “Anything past that is overkill. It’s just common courtesy and good manners.”
Overall it is important to remember that when displaying PDA on campus keep in mind that the public is not immune to the action