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Columbia Spending $2.5 Million to Study the Sex Lives of Students

Columbia Spending $2.5 Million to Study the Sex Lives of Students

Big money…

Doesn’t $2.5 million seem like an extraordinary sum for such a study?

Campus Reform reports:

Columbia spending $2.5M to study students’ sex lives

Columbia University is spending $2.5 million to study students’ sex lives and drinking habits, Columbia sociology professor Shamus Khan announced last week during a talk.

“The trustees of Columbia wrote a $2.5 million check to the faculty and said, ‘Figure this out. What’s going on with sex and the sex lives of students?” Khan said during a talk last week, according to Politico.

SHIFT, or the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation, is a comprehensive study assessing “students’ sexual attitudes, intentions, and behaviors” and examining how students interact with each other “sexually and socially.”

Khan remarked that as a result of this study, student sex has been on his mind a lot, saying, “My life over the past two years has been thinking about college students and sex, and it’s both really boring and really disturbing in sort of twin ways.”

The study involves professors conducting ethnographic research in campus bars—a move that has come under criticism from students who feel the research is akin to spying.

“I think that would be pretty weird and uncomfortable, especially if it’s a professor you’ve had in the past,” Barnard student Sara Taffel told The Columbia Spectator when news of the research broke last year. “It’s also problematic, because a lot of students are underage, and that would cause a lot of anxiety if you see a professor.”


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If the college is performing ethnographic research in bars concerning student sex habits, does that now mean that leaving a bar with someone qualifies as affirmative consent?