A prominent Duke University behavioral economist, Dan Ariely, stirred up a controversy on campus by posting ads asking female students to take part in a "sexually explicit" study in which they would discuss sex toys at Tupperware-style parties. Father Joe Vetter, director of the Duke Catholic Center, protested, saying Ariely was discouraging relationships by telling women "just to sit around and masturbate." Does the Duke sex-toy study send students the wrong message?
Sex toys promote relationships: Sex toys aren't evil, says Olivia Allin in The Frisky. Finding Mr. Right -- "a boy who turns you on and gets you simultaneously" -- isn't easy. It's better to "do it yourself" than hook up with Mr. Wrong. A good relationship is worth waiting for, and a good sex toy makes the waiting easier.
"University seeks to shut down a sex-toy study"
What about morality? Duke University must not think much of morals, says Michael John McCrae in The Land of the Free. An institution of higher learning is supposed to help form young minds -- not corrupt them with sexy parties where they get discounts on "the types of toys that will cause young woman to drop panties" more quickly. "I kind of feel bad for all the moms and dads who sent their daughters to Duke’s new pit of perversion."
"Morality! Who cares?"
Vibrators don't make women promiscuous: "Sit around and masturbate?" says Katie Drummond in True/Slant. Come on -- these women aren't going to swear off men, and marriage, and retire to their dorm rooms with a discounted vibrator and a Sade CD. And they're not going to suddenly become promiscuous, either. In fact, Father Vetter should be pleased -- "student health workers say they hope the study will shed light on whether sex toys can be a useful tool in curbing campus promiscuity."
"Duke University students: you should not 'just sit around and masturbate'"