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Demographics, dogs, and dicks

Jan 17, 2007 • Karen

Today was my first session of Human Sexuality, an anthropology class I'm taking with Kathleen over at Pomona.

This year, the class is supersaturated with the fairer sex. About four or five girls to every guy. According to the prof, the class is normally equitable, or at least as close as it can be expected to be in a liberal arts education (around 60-40). So why would it be 80-20 this semester? Is it only girls who tend to look at the anthropology department's offerings (or hear about the class through word-of-mouth)? Or do this year's frosh guys think they already know everything? Even more...interestingly..., of the few guys who are in the class, half of them are Easties from Mudd. Including East Dorm Jesus. Oi vey.

But anyway. It looks to be a very good class--so far, the prof seems to hold up to the rave reviews Lexie gave him frosh year. He opened with a few sex jokes and encouraged students to speak out during class if they were comfortable--no small feat when there's 70-some people enrolled. The syllabus includes a lot of guest speakers--including a panel of the Claremont Colleges chaplains for the next class, "God and Sex." The prof has a dog, Cody, which he always brings to class. The dog seems to know the class so well he could probably teach it himself--at the very least, he knows to growl and whimper when the prof brings up circumcision.

Which was today's lesson. We watched an anti-circumcision movie with actual footage of the procedure, then a 20/20 piece on the same topic. Let me just get this out of the way:

WHY THE **** were they performing these things *without anaesthetic* until only like TEN years ago?!? "Newborns don't feel pain"? Who in their goddamn right mind believes that?!

*breathes*

Other than that bit, I don't really feel that strongly about the topic. Before today's class, I was vaguely pro-circumcision--alright, it might have some hygienic benefits, and everybody else does it. Okay, I guess my hypothetical sons can have it. Now I'm vaguely anti-circumcision--going without is really not rare at all anymore, so unless someone can convince me that the statistically-significant-but-nevertheless-tiny health benefits are large enough to seriously outweigh the risks of a botched surgery/infection (not to mention the money and the pain), or the father is really adamant about it, I'm saying nej tak. No thanks.

But for all my lack of passion about the topic, I did find it interesting. Wangs are not something girls tend to get much of an education about--I'd never even seen a diagram with a foreskin before. In fifth grade we girls went into one room to talk about periods and boobs and babies while the guys went into another room to talk about...golf.

We'll see how much golf there is in this course.