Should Universities Institute Dorm Sex Policies?

E-mail Email Icon Print Print Icon
Reddit Digg StumbleUpon Delicious Bookmark

Tufts University has instituted new policies about dorm room sex - should your university follow suit?

dorm room bed2

Photo: jessiecat_techie

Life with a roommate is always an adventure.

In response to problems experienced by students in previous years, Tufts University has reportedly instituted policies about sex in campus housing. Specifically, the new policies reportedly state that students are not allowed to have sex when their roommate is present (unless, I would suppose, sex is with one’s roommate). In addition, students’ sex is not supposed to interfere with their roommates’ sleep, privacy or studying.

You may recall that fellow Kinsey Confidential blogger Bradley Blankenship recently wrote about the experience of being “sexiled” from one’s room when roommates take over the room for sex leaving their roommate out in the cold. And potentially feeling awkward, alone or powerless.

Though the new policies at Tufts have been described as being intended to provide boundaries for students and to facilitate conversation, do you think students will try to have these policies enforced? Or to what extent do you think students might still feel as though they don’t have the ability to speak up to a resident hall assistant or someone else in charge at their dorm?

I absolutely feel as though students need to feel as though they have choices – both to be sexual alone or with a partner as well as to not be exposed to their roommate’s sexuality in ways that make them feel uncomfortable. College is full of learning experiences and opportunities to gain new skills – including, I suppose, learning to talk to roommates about sex, about what one feels comfortable with (or not) and how they can manage time in their room so that all two or three roommates feel as though they can make their living situation work for them.

For more information:
- College students at Tufts University warned on dorm room sex etiquette (NY Daily News)

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
More posts by this author »


  • Matthew

    It seems to me that college students have been learning negotiation skills by dealing with this issues for many many years, and that creating a policy about it does absolutely nothing to facilitate that process. It strikes me as yet another example of the institutional impulse to control sexuality.

  • Caitlin Reynolds

    Preventing children or teenagers to have sex is really just a dream. No matter these youngsters are educated not to have sex at an early age, curiosity and hormones still prevail. So I guess setting rules or adding limitations to this will be more helpful.