Volume 90, Issue 70

Wednesday, January 29, 1997



Surveying The Gazette's future

Re: Bring back that sexy feeling – Sex survey, Jan. 24.

To the editor:

The "university-wide survey of the sexual attitudes and lifestyles of Western students: which appeared in the Jan. 24 issue of The Gazette is poorly constructed and based on some questionable assumptions. The purpose of this letter is not to impose my beliefs upon anyone else, rather it is to simply share my thoughts about the widespread negative impacts that a 'survey' of this sort can have upon its readers.

The basic assumption of the third question (and the entire survey) is that all Western students have had sex. This undoubtedly alienates a share of the paper's readership and causes the results that The Gazette will eventually publish to fallaciously represent Western students. In fact this line of questioning adds to the already-high levels of pressure to which students can be subjected concerning decisions about whether or not to have sex.

If the intent to discover sexual attitudes was indeed sincere then I would expect to see questions like: Have you ever been a victim of sexual assault or sexual harassment? Have you ever felt pressured into having sex or sexual relations? Has having sex ever caused you to feel badly or good about yourself? etc. My point is that this survey makes little direct mention about how the surveyed actually feel about anything. This seems necessary when it is considered that feelings are often the foundation from which attitudes are formed.

Finally, if this survey does eventually make a claim in representing the Western student body then I hope it makes room for embellishment on the part of the surveyed. If it does not account for this happening then the product will be a flawed and fictitious standard against which many students will undoubtedly compare themselves.

James Delodder
Political Science III

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997