A Modest Proposal
"It is evident that the liberalization of administrative policy on sexual affairs can only be achieved sub rosa," said the Swarthmore "Phoenix" the other day, and the Swarthmore administration, not exactly in a sub Rosa mood, promptly and loudly suspended publication of "The Phoenix." Unfortunate as such censorship always is, in this case it should precipitate little more than irritation with the administration's antiquated sensitivity. The editorial itself, more inanely than shockingly-suggested that some Swarthmore regulations be adjusted in light of certain enlightening facts set forth in that modern classic, the Kinsey Report. The suggestion, as anyone familiar with the Swarthmore campus can testify, was an unneccessary as was the administration's witless reprimand. The Swarthmore incident is hardly an alarming example of censorship, but it has inadvertently uncovered a more important issue, and one more related to local interests.
Like the Swarthmore situation, there exists a situation at Harvard that apparently involves the remnants of 17th century mores. The College has never offered a course dealing specifically and directly with sex, an omission in the curriculum that can be found in few other major colleges in the country. Yesterday a younger organization than Harvard College, and one consequently less burdened by the last three hundred years, tactfully approached this matter. The organization was the Radcliffe Student Council, and its idea was that some sort of marriage course for Radcliffe girls should be instituted in the fall term. Yale has already stopped into the twentieth century and acknowledged the existence of sex. If Radcliffe makes the same move unilaterally, Harvard will become something of a lone puritanical ostrich, with its head buried in the past. Call it "Marriage," as the Radcliffe Student Council does, or call it "Sex Hygiene," as is the usual custom, the fact should be faced that a course dealing with sex ought to have a niche in the catalogue of courses. It is possible, some will suggest, that most local students would stand little to learn from such a course; but it is more likely that enough undergraduates to fill at least a medium-sized classroom do not feel their knowledge on the subject to be exhaustive.
The choice is before the College. It can remain in the shadow of yesterday, waking only long enough to note the stern return of Swarthmore to the fold. Or it can follow the Radcliffe Student Council into the companionate world of the present.