Phi Beta Cons

Naked Parties

The latest fad at Yale and other institutions of higher learning:

The Pundits have been throwing naked parties since 1995. Students who throw them at Brown say naked partying began there back in the 1980s. Since then, the idea has caught on. Wesleyan, Wellesley, Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bowdoin and Amherst have all been host to parties with similar rules: before entering, take off your clothes. The parties are rarely associated with fraternities or sororities; more often, they’re thrown by campus organizations or groups of friends.

Don’t be alarmed, though. It has nothing to do with sex, as the NYT earnestly informs us:

the nudity is described as more of an experiment in social interaction than a sexual experience, though people begin to loosen up as the parties progress. …
“Touching is an extreme no-no,” Ms. Pellegrino says. “It’s in very bad taste. People look each other in the eyes more than you’ve ever seen. It’s not a place to pick people up.”

But then there’s this:

Even if the atmosphere in the party room isn’t threatening, it can lead to more explicitly sexual encounters. In the spring of 2002, a Yale freshman accused a senior of following her home after a naked party and making unwanted advances. He pleaded no contest to a fourth-degree sexual assault charge and in 2004 was sentenced to two years of probation.

The answer is of course obvious: More sensititivy training!

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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