Single-sex dorms won't stop drinking or 'hooking up'

My colleague, Heidi Schlumpf, wrote this past week about John Garvey, Catholic University's new president, and his decision to return the campus to single sex dormitories.

Mr. Garvey argues that this step will curb binge drinking and "hooking up."

Laura Sessions Stepp disagrees.

Stepp is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, formerly with The Washington Post, who specializes in the coverage of young people. She has written two books: "Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both," and "Our Last Best Shot: Guiding Our Children Through Early Adolescence."

According to Stepp:

He [Mr. Garvey] has good intentions, I'm sure, and some 18- and 19-year-old students will be attracted to single-sex living. But I'm not convinced he'll achieve the results he seeks. Nothing in my 20 years of experience writing about young people suggests that reverting to the old days of male and female dorms will substantially reduce the frequency of drinking or casual sex.

Moreover, his explanation for the change has a let's-protect-the-women ring to it that is decidedly out of step with the gender roles and expectations of today's young women and young men.

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