There is a craze among students these days that deserves our serious attention though many parents and teachers decide to look the other way. This is the campus couples syndrome, which entails the co-habitation of boys and girls in the same room within the hosting communities of our institutions of higher learning.
Though they are officially single at home, these students are married in the real sense of it on campus. Like actual couples, they live together, without the knowledge and consent of anyone, and engage in what couples do, warts and all. The girl goes to the market to buy foodstuff and the boy gives himself the illusion of a “husband”, enjoying home-made food and regular sex.
Students who engage in this extreme premarital sexual behaviour believe they are catching fun. Some think they are making preparations for the future, even when there is no commitment. Little do they realize that sex is the post powerful creative force that man has, like the atomic power. While atomic power creates boundless energy, it can also destroy exponentially. The same thing is applicable to sex: it is both powerful and destructive. But to them, sex is just fun.
As if a terrible accident has wiped out their entire sense, it is inconceivable that some female students can be washing the clothes of their boyfriends, running their errands and subjecting themselves to sexual slavery without any warranty. Unfortunately, this is what is happening and the parties involved soon end in conflict, with emotional scars that remain for life, especially on the part of the girls, the usual victims. They think infatuation is love; they construe butterfly as bird.
In his book, “Sex, Love or Infatuation: How Can I Really Know?” (1978), the emeritus professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin in Platteville, USA, Dr Ray E. Short, noted that science has established 11 facts, “backed up by solid research”, on the probable effect of premarital sex on future marriage.
One: Premarital sex tends to break up couples.
Two: Many men and women do not want to marry who has had intercourse with someone else.
Three: Those who have premarital sex tend to have less happy marriages.
Four: Those who have premarital sex are more likely to have their marriage end in divorce.
Five: Persons and couples who have had premarital sex are more likely to have extramarital affairs as well.
Six: Having premarital sex may fool you into marrying a person who is not right for you.
Seven: Persons and couples with premarital sex experience tend to achieve sexual satisfaction sooner after they are married. However…
Eight: They are likely to be less satisfied overall with their sex life during marriage.
Nine: Poor premarital sexual habits can be carried over to spoil sex in marriage.
Ten: Guilt may push a couple into a bad marriage.
Eleven: Premarital sex robs couple of “sexual cement”.
As dangerous as premarital sex is, without any cultural, religious or ethical justification, it is often glamorized by the media, especially the movies. With all sorts of materials now easily accessible on the ubiquitous satellite television channels and the internet, the “new normal” is to question everyone and everything.
In order to guard against the menace of campus couples, which often results in abortions, unwarranted pregnancies, poor grades and stifled hopes, parents, institutions and students themselves have roles to play.
Many parents who do not know where their undergraduate daughters live have to wake up. Their darling daughters and adorable angels may be living “couple’s life” and might have aborted pregnancies for as many years as they have spent in the university. Parents should periodically visit their children at school, even unannounced, at least to confirm that all is well.
Institutions of higher learning should try to provide accommodation for their students. Due to inadequate hostel facilities, some students are left in the lurch and some accept the “offer” of living with anyone, including boys, whatever the risks. A drowning man will clutch at a straw.
Most importantly, students should appreciate the need to think beyond immediate pleasure and see premarital sex and “couple’s life” as sin against man and God. In case girls are brainwashed to believe much in some phantom love, they should take the counsel of Nancy Hanna as follows:
“True love waits. If a boy or a girl truly loves you, they will want the best for you. They will not want you to suffer fear of disease, unwanted pregnancy and the psychological difficulties of premarital sex. They will want to experience love with you only in the very best place of all – the love nest of marriage.”