Boys and girls gone wild!

A reader wonders why we never see that headline

Katharine Mieszkowski
March 31, 2006 5:08AM (UTC)

Broadsheet reader Nicole writes in with a link to a recent story from the Time magazine Web site by former Wonkette Ana Marie Cox, called "The Myth About Girls Going Wild." In the piece, Cox surveys the media brouhaha about an American Medical Association poll of college girls on sex, drinking and spring break. Seventy-four percent of girls surveyed said that spring break means increased sexual activity, and 13 percent said it meant sex with more than one partner. Cox zeroes in in a less-widely circulated stat from the same poll: 74 percent of girls said that they used alcohol as an excuse to engage in outrageous behavior.

The famously potty-mouthed Cox, whose former blog has the motto "politics for people with dirty minds," concludes: "Anti-feminists were wrong, anyway. Freeing girls from stereotypes hasn't made them more masculine, it's made them more more. Unbound from cultural constraints, they don't flip to the male side of the spectrum. They just flip out. Maybe it would be progress if we had a definition of femininity expansive enough to include shaking one's thing without raising one's top -- so that girls could go a little wild without having to rely on what we used to refer to as the 'sorority girl's mating call:' 'I am soooo drunk.'"


Our tipster Nicole has another idea of what progress would look like: if the hand-wringing from parents, the media and the American Medical Association about wild behavior on spring break wasn't limited to fretting about girls. "Why don't they mention the men that go on spring break, drink to the point of oblivion and have random sex? It's a universal problem -- not just one that affects women. Is it because women should be warned about the consequences of this behavior? Or is it because women shouldn't be 'allowed' to be promiscuous? And why is it that women 'flip out' when given freedom? What does this flipping out consist of, aside from behavior that men participate in as well? Clearly, spring break 'bad' behavior encompasses both sexes, not just women."

Maybe college boys should be insulted that no one seems especially concerned about them. After all, they're binge drinking, and having sex while intoxicated on spring break, too.

What do Broadsheet's wild (and tame) readers think?

Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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