“is riddled with toxic power structures”
Is this really a fair approach to the topic of college drinking? It sure doesn’t look that way.
The College Fix reports:
Prof: College drinking culture is associated with whiteness, ‘toxic masculinity’
A professor at Columbia University gave a presentation last Friday in which she expressed dismay at how campus drinking culture “is riddled with toxic power structures.”
This may come as little surprise as Jennifer Hirsch’s talk — “The Toxic Campus Brew: Whiteness, Masculinity, Drinking Laws, Stress and Shame” — addressed the sociological implications of college drinking regarding the alleged “pervasiveness of whiteness and toxic masculinity.”
Hirsch is co-director of the Columbia Population Research Center and a member of the school’s Department of Sociomedical Studies.
According to The Daily Princetonian, the presentation focused on Hirsch’s research project, the “Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation,” in which the professor conducted “in-depth” interview with 144 undergraduates. It concentrated on freshmen students’ first (fall) semester.
“Drinking plays an important role in settling in,” Hirsch said. “Alcohol acts as a social lubricant, helping to manage anxiety about making friends and creating shared experiences. Students form deep bonds or even find true love while holding back the hair of a vomiting friend or arguing over whether a friend needs an ambulance or just some water and a ride home.”
But beware of the power dynamics at play:
“What a student perceives to be the general Columbia drinking culture is often only his experience as a wealthy white man,” she said.
Furthermore, Hirsch described alcohol as the primary catalyst for sexual experiences. To illustrate, Hirsch cited a few of her case studies. One female student, according to her, admitted, “I only have the courage to hook up [with men] when drunk.”
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