BYU Honor Code open thread

Open Thread

No links. Just a rant. And then the floor is yours, commenters.

Anything goes, but reminiscence and nostalgia related to good times at BYU are highly encouraged. 😉

But before that party gets started, let me just say …

My sense is that Brandon Davies has been offered up as a sacrificial lamb on the altar of LDS PR. Yes, that’s my read of BYU’s decision to sign off on the latest public parading of a student athlete’s failure to keep to the Honor Code.

Why now? Because it’s been a rough few months for TSCC, namely …

The Book of Mormon dancing and singing on Broadway. Family guy dinging Marriott on the small box. Pro-equality Mormon videos going viral. Warren Jeffs and his prophetic pedofilling. Hot sauce mom and her Dr. Philling. DADT repealing. White House DOMA rejecting. Mormon neo-Nazis running the Arizona senate. LDS father of The 5 Browns busted for daughter abusing. Dallin Oaks failing. Romney flailing. Huntsman hinting. Missions closing. Growth prospects fading. Informal cultural pressures mounting. Gay agenda winning. Young people yawning. Secular ranks swelling. Mormon ads tanking. BYU students opining and objecting.

When an institution sees its legitimacy slipping, what does it do?

It offers up one of its own.

Because it stands for something, dammit. And that’s why ESPN has been tasked with explaining what that might be, exactly.

For the Bloggernacle version of this open thread, see:

Nine Moons: BYU’s Honor Code Strikes Again

58 thoughts on “BYU Honor Code open thread

  1. That’s a pretty safe bet, considering that it’s in all the papers. 😉

    Here’s an example of what I’m talking about … the latest from CNN:

    Sticking to principles appears to carry a steep cost for the nation’s third-ranked college basketball team.

    That’s the opening graf. Of course, CNN never goes on to explain the costs involved. As far as I can tell, that kind of write-up is all upside for an institution like BYU.

  2. From the Des News article:

    Brandon Davies apologizes…
    acknowledged his transgression to BYU officials
    Everyone makes mistakes in their life, [his teammate] said. We are reaching out and trying to help him get through this.
    Davies spoke to the team and apologized
    He told us everything. He told us he was sorry and that he let us down.”
    Davies was extremely remorseful, heartbroken, but has accepted the punishment doled out by the school.

    All because (apparently) he made love with his girlfriend. Quelle horreur!

    Once you step fully outside that world, it’s astonishing — and disgusting — the way the church gets people to grovel and humiliate themselves just for acting like human beings.

  3. There are several aspects of the BYU Honor Code I dislike.

    The prohibition on banging a girl before you actually have decided if you’re going to commit to her is not one of them.

    And it’s kind of interesting how so much of the commentary on the Internet about this tends to say stuff like “he couldn’t help it – he’s got hormones!”

    It’s as if half the commenting public over at the Huffington Post is comprised of walking penises with email addresses and Internet handles attached.

    Way to score one for the nobility of the human existence!

  4. Yeah Seth, because making love is such an ignoble activity. So dirty and disgusting and shameful. Unless you’re married. Then it’s beautiful and wonderful and spiritual. Unless you go down on each other or something. Then it’s dirty and disgusting and shameful again. No wait — that was only what the prophet used to say — it doesn’t count anymore. If any of that confuses you, talk it over with your bishop, alone in a room with him with the door tightly closed.

  5. Not buying it, Seth R. It’s pretty much a given in these parts that any random commenter at HuffPo is already way more insightful than you or me or anyone else here could ever aspire to become.

    *eyeroll*

  6. I may surprise those who are familiar with my views on the LDS church and BYU generally. But I don’t think BYU should be criticized for suspending this guy for an honor code violation. I think most of the honor code, including the bar on sexual activity outside of marriage, has little to nothing to do with honor, and everything to do with institutionalized authoritarian command and control. That said, when I was a student at BYU law school, I lived by the honor code, even the parts I didn’t necessarily agree with. I think the coach has it right when he says it is about commitment. A person commits to live by it and knows the consequences for not living by it. So, I support BYU in suspending this player for violating the honor code. I am glad to see that they are not giving a student-athlete special favorable treatment where an honor code infraction is concerned. As long as the university acts in an even-handed manner, treating all the same, I am Ok with it. However, I am concerned that such may not be the case. We have all heard about how Jim McMahon got away with a lot more than what this kid just got suspended for. And the axe at BYU seems to fall more frequently on athletes of a darker complexion. There is at least an appearance that a white Mormon kid is going to get away with more than an African-American kid. Maybe if the church did not have such a sordid history where discriminatory treatment of non-white-skinned folk were concerned, I’d be less inclined to believe that there is a racial component to what has gone down here. I sincerely hope that’s not the case, and that the perception that African-Americans are held more accountable than whites is merely that–perception. But I am not so sure.

  7. By the way, here’s a curveball: In that Trib piece, BYU coach Dave Rose predicted that Brandon will eventually be back on the team.

    I was never under the impression that I could get laid at BYU and continue my studies there. Is that how it works now?

  8. Right Kuri. Sex is not inherently bad.

    So why not just have it with whoever, whenever, and however you want? You don’t even have to consider the feelings of the other person at all. Because, after all, sex is natural and good and all that stuff.

    So there’s obviously no way you could hurt a person by doing it, right?

  9. Here’s the BYU I remember from my freshman year (’85-’86):

    I lived in Helaman Halls. Abided by all the rules. Me and a couple of buddies started working up a jazz-fusion thing in a basement practice room in the dorm. Eventually we started playing around Provo. Entertaining BYU football players with pitchers of beer on their tables is what I most remember about our paid gigs.

    Still at Helaman Halls. I got my varsity letters in football and track in high school. I’m not a big guy, and could never hit hard enough or run fast enough to think of playing college ball, but I would’ve if the genes had been in my favor. Anyway, so on this particular day, I’m new to BYU. Heading over to the dining facilities with my roommate, a ranked high school tennis player, and another friend who was a high school football hero in Ohio, but like me, just too small for the next level. Anyways, we get over to where we’re supposed to eat, and being who I am, I see one side full of students, and another side nearly empty, and I make my choice. Lo and behold, the woman behind the partition won’t serve us. Why? Apparently the empty side was reserved for athletes. Oh really? Great! You’re looking at three hungry athletes here, let’s go! No dice. So we make our way back to rank-and-file-dom, but not before I’d made a scene asking why I couldn’t be served. A helpful BYU football stud followed us out and let me know it was because we were “faggots” … and my otherwise smart-ass, tough-ass friends grabbed my arm, told me to not turn around, and I walked it off. Regrets, I’ve had a few, but not that many, come to think of it. That stupid day still ranks up near the top. I should’ve turned around.

    I’ve got more, but I can do this all day. Taking a break now.

  10. The prohibition on banging a girl before you actually have decided if youre going to commit to her is not one of them. […] So theres obviously no way you could hurt a person by doing it, right?

    Seth, even though you haven’t spelled it out explicitly, I’m getting a bit of a sexist aftertaste from your comments, like consensual sex is a guy being selfish to some poor, helpless woman. In reality, people can hurt each other emotionally and take advantage of each other in lots of ways with no sex involved, and college-age adults *cough* women *cough* should not be presumed to be children when it comes to protecting them from making adult decisions about sex.

    p.s. to Val: Sorry to be pedantic, but, to have a civil discussion, it’s best to be sparing with the meta-discussion speculating about people’s motives and psychology.

  11. When Karl Maeser was talking about confining himself to that circle of chalk, he was not thinking about being confined by some bureaucrat who could withhold your diploma.

    In the face of that kind of enforcement, there is no need for honor.

    The function of honor is to render unenforceable promises credible. In particular, the king would endow aristocrats with privilege. In return, the aristocrats had to fight for the king when the time came.

    That deal’s unenforceable because a) the privilege has already been consumed and b) war is a matter of life and death. Reasonable people do not commit suicide for past privilege.

    That’s where honor comes in. When you forfeit your honor, your peers will disown you. You will cease to be a gentleman. You might as well be dead to your equals.

    BYU does not rely on peers to enforce its honor code but on provisions of contracts and laws, in other words, the coercive power of the state.

    That’s something entirely else. It’s not honor. If Karl Maeser had only been constrained by that, he would have stepped right out of that chalk circle.

    In fact, that might have been a matter of honor.

  12. Well Seth, when I was a young Mormon, I was really glad to have a church that presented me with a clear set of sexual ethics, namely, don’t have sex before marriage because that’s almost as bad as killing somebody and don’t even kiss passionately or touch each other in a sexual way except no one ever would ever come right out and say that except by calling those actions “necking and petting” which no one under the age of 60 understands anyway but you don’t have to take that seriously because if you only do “anything but” that’s not sex and doesn’t count and if you have sex never use a condom because that would mean you planned ahead to have sex and it didn’t “just happen” and if you do have sex well just get married and there will be no real consequences except you’ll have to wait one year to get sealed in the temple and besides the only way you can get in any trouble anyway is if you confess so all you have to do is keep your mouth shut and if any of this confuses you you can ask your bishop who is a middle-aged semi-stranger who will be just as embarrassed by the subject as you are about it.

    What could have been clearer?

  13. So, just to keep up with my trend of butting in after every comment … The semester I got back to BYU from Brazil, they changed the rules such that I’d be *required* to attend the LDS church if I wanted to remain enrolled. I transferred to NYU rather than spend the next two years pretending to be a believer. Maybe I should’ve just kept going to church and stopped following the other requirements, rather than the other way around. Silly me. Lord knows I’d seen how the system operated. Live close to campus in low-rent student housing, and you were under constant monitoring. Move out to Branbury Park, and suddenly your roommates had beer in the fridge and the girls in the hot tub wanted to get naked.

    Shameless copy-and-paste from FLAK

    This whole episode has got me wondering: does anyone know any resources that talk about how Mormonism (or maybe just religion generally) does different work depending on the believer’s socioeconomic class? Not that this story says anything about that, but it brought the question to mind. Back when I was growing up, I remember meeting Mormons of various means, and feeling like even though we were ostensibly all Mormon, some people’s Mormonism felt almost like a different country.

    For example, at BYU, it sure seemed like the kids living in lower-rent student housing had to put up with much more monitoring than those who could afford posh digs. Maybe I’m just cynical, but it sure seems that moneyed Mos mostly see the rules and the legacy Mormon lifestyle as applying to the lower orders. Kinda reminds me of the old Watergate era line about the phony tough (the Nixon administration) and the crazy brave (the Watergate burglars). The phony tough LDS leadership class knows its position depends on the help of the crazy brave petty authoritarians who terrorize the rank-and-file.

    Getting back to the gist of my comments in the OP, it just feels like Brandon Davies is succumbing to that same kind of terrorization, it just happens to be playing out on a bigger stage.

  14. What is this Kuri?

    Random “dump all my resentments about sex and religion just because someone suggested that sex before marriage is less than morally optimal” day?

  15. Chanson, I approached it from the guy’s perspective because it’s a guy who is in the news in this instance.

    No other reason.

  16. @ Seth #10 – obviously there is. People can get hurt when you use them for sex. But they can get hurt when you use them to advance your career, to get a free meal, or just to kill time with when you’re not interested in a relationship. Only the sex one gets you in deep shit with the church. That’s the problem. There’s a completely disproportionate understanding of the impact of sexual activity on a person’s psyche. It’s. Not. That. Big. Of. A. Deal.

    Furthermore, you’re making it clear that you can’t see anything outside of the black and white. There’s are thousands of shades of gray in-between the abusive debauchery and chaste marital bliss that you refer to. There is such a thing as sex outside of marriage in which both people are participating as a sincere expression of love. I would know. My husband and I were having sex over 3 years before we got married. We weren’t using each other. We did consider each other’s feelings. We both wanted to. It was awesome, and it continues to be awesome. And even if we had ended up not getting married, I still would say that it was awesome and a good choice. We were expressing our love for each other. But you simply cannot imagine self-giving love-making outside of marriage. It makes no sense.

  17. No Seth, it’s “respond to your silly straw man by pointing out that the LDS church’s teachings about premarital sex are at least as incoherent as anyone else’s” day.

  18. Kuri, really my original comment was mainly making two points:

    1. I like the idea of prohibiting sex before marriage. I didn’t say I like the Church’s position on masturbation, necking, or whatever else. I didn’t say I like the interviewing system with the bishop, I didn’t even really give much of an opinion on the Honor Code office in general. Just the idea of sex and marriage.

    2. The commenters on the Huffington Post remind me an awful lot of die hard fundamentalist Calvinists – except that instead of claiming “God made me do it,” they claim that “my hormones made me do it.”

    Because it’s sort of becoming an article of faith that you cannot deny your hormones.

    Instead of “irresistible grace” we’ve got “irresistible sex.”

    I fail to see the improvement.

  19. The function of honor is to render unenforceable promises credible.

    What Hellmut said. For all the talk of Honor Codes, the only honor I ever saw at BYU manifested in the margins. I remember the second semester of my freshman year, in the last weeks I came down with mono. Maybe one too many NCMO sessions or maybe it was the dinners comprised of chips piled as high and doused in as much processed cheese goo as the cardboard platter would hold. In any case, I spent a bedridden week when I should’ve been taking finals. The only thing that made it bearable was this incredibly interesting girl who’d decided to help by covertly transporting nutrition from the cafeteria, which we’d share while she kept me company.

    That didn’t last long. Knock on the door. No girls allowed. My RA maintained his perfect track record of only coming around to enforce, never to inquire, and she was gone. I served a mission in no small part because it was finally my bishop who came around on his own time to drive me to the airport and get me home to recuperate. At that point in my life, such a small kindness was totally unexpected and utterly overwhelming. I was still too young and too Mormon to appreciate that not every act of human decency requires repayment with years of one’s life.

  20. OK then,

    1. I don’t like prohibiting sex before marriage (especially when it comes as part of an incoherent and self-contradictory package deal). I like encouraging people to treat each other ethically in every way, with sexual ethics just a part of that.

    2. I rarely read HuffPo and pretty much never read the comments when I do, so I can’t address the tone there, but speaking generally, in our society when two adults are in love and not committed to other people, they almost always make love with one another if they’re able. Sex is not so much “irresistible” as it is ordinary. It’s just what people do. So I find it completely unsurprising that punishing someone for doing something as normal as having sex with his girlfriend seems so weird to many people.

  21. No, I don’t particularly think anyone was offered up here – honor code violations come up all the time, it’s just this one happens to involve an athlete without which BYU’s final four hopes are down the drain.

    The question of whether a university has any legitimate reason to care about with whom its adult students are sleeping (if any), where they live, what they drink, etc. is a matter of opinion – I am no fan of BYU and happily attended school elsewhere. But BYU is a known quantity and it should take no one by surprise that the powers that be take the honor code seriously.

    WRT the curve ball, I guess I’m not sure – having avoided YBU like the plague I really don’t have a basis for comparison with the enforcement but the way church discipline seems to work, attitude counts for a lot in the eyes of those in authority. Some problems have come about because they’ve recruited non LDS athletes, often from out of state, who really have no clue what they are getting in to, and who ultimately have no intention of submitting that much of their individual franchise to a foreign church. Davies, by contrast, is from Provo and I can see how a “basically good” LDS kid taking a different approach toward authority and discipline over a situation that got out of hand would be viewed differently with some leniency shown. His season is over, but that doesn’t (nor should it) mean he’s out of the school or automatically off the team for good. Lots of BYU players, after all, are married.

  22. So, what to do with BYU students who live by all the rules but honestly present their beliefs about Mormonism to their ecclesiastical leaders? Should they also be allowed to remain enrolled? Or is arriving at a position of disbelief a bigger disqualifier than fornication?

  23. By the way, I get that BYU has probably changed since I was there. For any old fogies following along, here’s an important update: Steve Young is no longer throwing wild parties.

  24. The rave reviews keep pouring in:

    The tough action by the school is in stark contrast to the anything-goes attitude among much of top ranked college athletics as well as the social attitudes on most college campuses.

    Anything goes is bad, message received. Thank goodness at least one school is maintaining standards: BYU Blind Sided: Independent study program no longer accepted by NCAA

    And across the pond, By Common Consent marvels that Twitter users seem to disagree with our corporate media. Cheeky hooligans.

  25. @Chino (25),

    I’m a current BYU student, and an apostate against the honor code. Not because I drink, smoke, or break the law of chastity, but because I no longer believe in the church. I and many others in my same position have found each other through Facebook.

    To lose one’s beliefs automatically disqualify one from attending BYU. Why? The honor code requires integrity, but if I am to maintain my integrity, I feel that I should remove my records from the church. However, no one may remain in good honor code standing if they are “voluntarily disaffiliated with the church.” So either believe it, lie about it, or find another school.

    Not a chance I’m leaving BYU with only 15 more credits to go. So I stay, and am forced to live the lie of maintaining my belief. They don’t care if you are a non-member. At least then they can baptize you. But leave the church and they know you’re gone forever, and no longer need you.

  26. Thank you Fox news and Danny Ainge (I think he is in line for a red chair) . . .

    “It’s a tough pill for the rest of us to swallow, a kid getting tossed from a team for doing something most college kids celebrate.

    ‘People will ridicule it because they don’t understand it,’ Ainge said.

    “But they are the rules.

    And it’s nice to see someone in college sports still actually enforces them.”

  27. It is interesting to me,as I read about Brandon Davies, as well as earlier about Harvey Unga, that so many people seem to think the BYU Honor Code is God’s guideline for moral behavior, including the consequences for breaking any of them. The BYU Honor Code is the institution’s private guidelines, even though they resemble the LDS Church’s interpretation of God’s position on sex and dietary behavior. The resemblance ends, however, with BYU’s position on the consequences of breaking the guidelines. Those guidelines, dismissal and suspensions, do not reflect the ecclesiastical guidelines, nor or they scriptural. God, for example, does not require an athlete who engages in premarital sex to be dismissed, or voluntarily resign, from his or her athletic team, and to be suspended from the university. If that is what BYU wants to do, for whatever reasons, that is one thing, but please don’t pretend that it has anything to do with God or Christian behavior.

  28. Works for me. I promise to never ever pretend BYU policy has any relationship whatsoever with God’s will. Now that that’s settled, is crafting fair policy simply beyond the abilities of BYU’s terrestrial administration?

    Everybody’s familiar with the letter to the Universe, yes? Is there any doubt that Mormon students are treated unfairly compared to students of other faiths who attend BYU? Why can’t the school simply ask Mormon students to pay the higher tuition rate if they decide to change their status to non-LDS? Why does it have to involve such serious life-damaging consequences? That’s just mean-spirited and vindictive.

    How about fewer lectures and more answers, instead of misdirection and excuses? Anyway, it’s not like we’re not all very familiar with the condescending tone.

  29. By the way, did everybody read this WSJ piece?

    One favorite line from that:

    As opposed to a cult, a religious culture ought to be as simple to enter or exit, for members or observers, as any free nation.

    If you haven’t read it, it’s a quick read. BYU can keep being their petty, arbitrary, authoritarian selves, but at the end of the day, the signal that sends is very culty.

  30. Yeah, you’re right about that, #33. I shouldn’t get so bent out-of-shape just because someone feels we need reminding that BYU is a private institution with, you know, institutional guidelines that weren’t brought down from Mt. Sinai. Nobody here is pretending they were.

  31. @Seth R. #18

    I think you completely missed the point(s) of chanson’s comment directed to you. I too got a sexist aftertaste so I am going to explain my thoughts about your comment.

    Your use of the word ‘girl’ when referring to someone who is most likely an adult, and therefore a woman, is diminutive.

    Your use of the phrase “banging a girl” is offensive and implies that something happened TO the woman involved and was not something she consented to and possibly (probably) even enjoyed. Such language objectifies women and paints them as victims of even consensual sex. And why do you make the assumption that having sex “hurt” this woman in some way? Perhaps it was an experience the woman will remember fondly. (Assuming of course that the splashing of her personal life all over the media doesn’t ruin the memory for her. I certainly hope she doesn’t come across commentary using phrases that imply she was a victim of ‘banging’.)

    I pity you if you believe that women are incapable of enjoying sex or if you believe that every time a man touches a woman he is merely using her or if you fail to realize that sometimes sex is an expression of love between two people. I hope you don’t believe that. I also hope you don’t naively believe that because the sex took place outside of (cue angels singing) marriage that it was necessarily non-consensual and/or that it couldn’t possibly have been loving and beautiful.

    Whether you believe it or not, women can have consensual sex outside of marital relationships without suffering damage to their psyches as a result. I’m living proof.

    Women usually only feel bad about sex when they’ve been assaulted, when sex-negative culture and language makes them feel that they are dirty or bad if they actually enjoy it, when they are made to believe that a huge portion of their Individual Worth is tied up in their virginity, or when it is implied that they have been victimized even when they believe they have consented.

    Also, only jerks use the words bang or banging when referring to sex. Grow up.

  32. Amy, the failure of people to validly and romantically connect long term in our modern culture is something that I believe is happening. I see the divorce rate these days as more than enough proof of that. People enter into romance these days with shields at maximum, and often seem to walk down the aisle subconsciously planning their future divorce.

    I see the trend of living together without marriage as nothing more than an indicator that people are holding something back and don’t really expect the relationship to last in the first place. I don’t think it’s a controversial point that sex has become something increasingly casual and non-committal in our society.

    I do not see this as a healthy trend – whatever the sins of our past on sex may have been.

  33. Chino @ 16:

    does anyone know any resources that talk about how Mormonism (or maybe just religion generally) does different work depending on the believers socioeconomic class

    Well, yes…you can read up on liberation theology, and the response from the Catholic hierarchy.

    In terms of Mormonism, my understanding is that after the age of polygamy, Mormonism quickly became a middle-class religion, cosmologically. If you consider the Proclamation on the Family, for example, that says “men should work” and “women stay at home with the kids,” this already assumes a non-working class household in which one income is enough to support a family (whereby relatives/friends are “extra help” for childcare as opposed to “essential”). Thus, when a poorer family “breaks the rules” out of necessity, other members watch them more closely. The ideal is clung to more tightly (offenders are “punished” through surveillance), rather than the ideal seen as false.

    Seth R @37:

    I see the trend of living together without marriage as nothing more than an indicator that people are holding something back and dont really expect the relationship to last in the first place.

    In the case of my partner and I who can’t legally get married, we don’t see “getting and being married” as the quintessential parameter of a lasting relationship.

  34. 35, you may not need reminding, and you may assume no one else does. But the point is, if you care to, or have the time to, review the hundreds of people who support BYU’s actions with Unga and Davies, to mention two, they in fact do seem to think that the BYU Honor Code is an addendum to the Ten Commandments.

  35. wolfamongsheep@ 28:

    no one may remain in good honor code standing if they are voluntarily disaffiliated with the church. […] They don’t care about a non-member.

    I wonder if enough time passes between being “voluntarily disaffiliated” that they might consider a person re-eligible as a “non-member.” For example, a person could leave in the Church in their teens and have change of heart in their twenties.

  36. Damn, sometimes I don’t read so good. After re-reading Parker’s #30, I have no idea why I was trying to object. So, I’d like to change tack and start sneering at my own misguided churlishness.

  37. Seth @37 — It’s clear that marriage and sexual customs have changed dramatically over the past century for various reasons (including longer lifespan and better contraception). The changes have good and bad sides. On the positive side, women and children are less obligated/expected to stay with an abuser, for example. Also, instead of having good and bad marriages alike randomly cut short by death, divorce tends to strike bad marriages while preserving the good ones. You can’t just stuff the sexual revolution genie back into its bottle and expect marriage customs to magically change back to the way they were in the 1900’s or the 1800’s. It’s not just a simple question of “the world is becoming more wicked” — we can analyze cultural trends and the factors that drive them.

    wonder if enough time passes between being voluntarily disaffiliated that they might consider a person re-eligible as a non-member.

    From what I understand, you can’t switch from member to non-member and maintain your enrollment. If you’re not a member anymore, you are automatically unenrolled, at which point you’re welcome to apply again, and see if you get accepted as a non-member student. It’s theoretically possible they might admit you as a non-member student at that point (or years later), but I’ve never heard of any example of that happening. If anyone knows of a case where someone who was a BYU student enrolled as LDS, and later attended as a non-member, I’d be very curious to hear about it.

  38. …or perhaps more to the point of comment @37, waiting until marriage to have sex doesn’t appear to increase people’s commitment in practice: Temple marriages have as high a divorce rate as non-temple marriages in the US, and “blue states” have lower divorce rates in general than “red states”.

  39. Seth R., do you understand that these relationship trends you see are entirely your own biased interpretation of the data and are more than a little clouded by the Mormon-end times theory that human behavior on the whole is on a decline? Rising divorce trends could mean more failed relationships, but I see no compelling evidence for this. Can you provide some? It seems to me to be more indicative of a very healthy trend of ending relationships when they’re over rather than enduring them for the sake of society or religion.

  40. @ Seth #37

    Your response does not address my points at all. It was just an entirely new (and completely unsubstantiated) rant about pre-marital sex and increasing divorce rates. I don’t care what you think about divorce rates and morality and romance. That wasn’t my point. I’m beginning to think you may have a problem with reading comprehension. Or, perhaps you just can’t acknowledge that you are wrong, your language is offensive, and you’ve been called out so you need to result to “look over there” tactics in discussion to avoid addressing your choice of offensive language.

    What I’d like to know is if you understand that your language was misogynistic and immature. I would like to know if you realize that the seemingly ubiquitous use of the word ‘banging’ in such contexts perpetuates the normalization of violence against women and minimizes the fact that women can be and often are willing and active participants in sexual activity (that sex isn’t always something that is done TO them), thereby contributing to the rape culture.

    Do you understand that such language, and rape culture generally, are far more hurtful and damaging to women than consensual, pre-marital sex?

  41. I agree with chanson (#42 and #43) completely and have to add that I suspect that, in many cases, pre-marital sex and cohabitation might actually serve to better prepare couples for the commitment of marriage by allowing couples insight into how well a marriage between them would work in the context in which a marriage would actually have to work (ie. sex and cohabitation). Couples who’ve already lived together already have an answer to the question, “Can we live together?” I admit that this is circumstantial evidence, but my observations of married friends who engaged in pre-marital sex and cohabitation vs. my LDS friends who mostly married young with absolutely no idea what they were getting into, indicate that prior experience is best. On the whole, those who chose to live together first seem to take the decision to marry much more seriously and ultimately have sexually fulfilling, happy marriages while those who rushed into marriage without this previous experience have ended up in unhappy marriages, nearly devoid of romance and sex, which only survive because temple divorce is “unthinkable” and/or there were children involved before the couple realized they were incompatible.

  42. Amy, I was using terminology common to the culture that tends to promote and glorify casual sex merely for theatrical impact.

    As you point out, it was probably in bad taste.

    One thing I am thinking now I’ve stewed on it for a bit… I think Davies (like Unga) is probably being treated more harshly than a run of the mill BYU student would be. It might depend on the Bishop involved or luck of the draw to some extent. But I just don’t see a normal unremarkable BYU male student getting kicked out of school over having sex with his girlfriend (or her getting kicked out either). Part of this smells to me of making a public example.

  43. Seth, you were using your own terminology. Don’t try to pass the buck. Amy is directly above your post promoting and glorifying casual sex and simultaneously admonishing your use of that exact terminology.

    You make a lot of assumptions about people who believe pre-marital sex is positive and healthy. If it were possible for you to open your mind (all evidence indicates otherwise) I think you would be very surprised by how normal people actually think and behave towards sex. Because I think you have a very distorted perception of people who disagree with you.

  44. @Seth 47: Indeed. See this opinion piece from a former BYU student making the point that the best explanation for this whole charade is that BYU is using Davies as a cynical ploy for positive press. Also, my comment #8, supra, pointing out the elephant in the room: white students don’t seem to get in as much trouble with the honor code brownshirts as black students.

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