Volume 93, Issue 56

Wednesday, December 8, 1999


$10 million bid at final stage

Huron to increase enrollment to combat cohort

Engineering committee extending office hours

USC looking at internet business

Millenium money to be announced

Waiting for the ball to drop

Caught on campus


Waiting for the ball to drop

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

A new study suggests youths 16 to 21 years old, hope the year 1999 will go out with a bang – literally.

A study commissioned by Durex Canada, a condom manufacturer, surveyed 5,000 youths in 14 countries and reported half of them wanted to celebrate the turning of the century with sexual intercourse.

Gail Golden, a psychology lecturer at Western, said the results of the study did not come as a shock. "It doesn't surprise me at all. I would be surprised if people over the age of 21 wouldn't want to be having sex as well. "Sex is one of the greatest pleasures. It goes along with celebrating."

Allan Gedalof, an English professor at Western, agreed the survey's findings were not surprising. "Sixteen to 21 year olds want to have sex on the night of the millennium? When do 16 to 21 year olds not want to have sex?"

Gedalof said young people would probably want to have sex this Dec. 31 for two reasons. "At the very least, everyone has heard about the apocalyptic fears, whether they believe it or not," he said, adding people who believe the end of the world was approaching would likely want to die happy. Sex is an instinct embedded in human nature which emerges when people feel the need to generate for fear of human decimation, he explained.

Secondly, if a fear of the apocalypse does not exist, Gedalof said people would want to start the next phase of their future in a wonderful way. "Whichever side of the coin, sex seems appropriate."

Even though this New Year's Eve is going to be a special one, Gedalof said couples always tend to engage in sexual activity on New Year's. "There's always a little surge in the birth rate nine months after Christmas and New Years," he said, adding his birthday was in the middle of September.

Alex McKay, research co-ordinator of The Sex Information and Education Council of Canada, said he hoped young people would take precautions on New Year's Eve, as if it were any other day.

"My response to that [survey] is in terms of education [for] youths and sex – that for the millennium it should be business as usual."

McKay added New Year's Eve will definitely mean more young people are intoxicated, which may lead to unsafe sex. "Young people should be equipped with information and the skills they need."

With regards to the results of the survey, McKay said it would be easy for the numbers to reflect an unreal or inflated expectation.

"It's a lot of, 'I'm going to party my brains out on New Years Eve.' Typically, I would guess there's a lot of people who say they're going to have sex on New Year's Eve who won't."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999