College freedom may lead to promiscuity

Leaving home affords some students more opportunities to experiment with a variety of things, including sexual relationships.

Some people say freshmen are more susceptible to a promiscuous lifestyle.

“There’s more freedom,” Vinnie Javera said. “You don’t have parent figures telling you you can’t do this or that.”

The 21-year-old allied health science junior from Yonkers, N.Y., said students have an environment all to themselves. These promiscuous lifestyles can carry emotional as well as life-altering consequences.

“A lot of incoming freshmen come here and get wild because maybe back at home they didn’t have a lot of freedom,” said Andrea Dattilo, a freshman 19-year-old nursing student from Fort Lauderdale.

Dattilo said this is the reason many students do whatever they want when they come to college.

“They could party all night, sleep out and basically be promiscuous at their discretion,” she said.

Allison Lockard, a counselor at the University, said there is a deeper reason students engage in this lifestyle.

“Students become promiscuous because they are trying to fill a void in their life,” she said. “This could be from the family dynamics that the children got from home.”

Lockard, who has been with counseling services since July 2006, said many students have low self-esteem. Engaging in sexual acts is a form of getting the “attention that they have been looking for,” she said.

Lockard explained promiscuous individuals are searching for “acceptance and validation” but don’t know how to get that from themselves.

“If you are feeling there is a void in your life that your family was not fulfilling, then the first thing you are going to do when you move away from your family is try to fill that void,” Lockard said.

“Loneliness and feelings of depression and isolation occur,” Lockard said.

But what concerns Lockard is the effects promiscuity has on the mind. She said it results in students feeling unworthy of a real relationship.

“The cycle develops and they no longer know how to maintain relationships and have distorted expectations of what a real relationship is,” Lockard said.

Promiscuous lifestyles may offer a false sense of emotional fulfillment, but with HIV and AIDS, there are more things to consider.

According to the Florida Department of Health Web site, through 2005 nearly 137,000 HIV/AIDS cases have been reported in Florida.

Of these cases, 55,000 people have died. Blacks account for 51 percent of all persons living with HIV/AIDS, but account for 14 percent of the population.