My daughter’s wedding on a Florida beach 2 months ago happened to coincide with Spring Break … that two-week sun-drenched, hiatus from academia associated with non-stop booze, bikinis, booty calls & booming bands. Countless college students (and many who looked much younger than 18) milled around the beaches, streets, shops and restaurants of Clearwater during our 3-day-stay. They gave this sex-ed researcher an opportunity to observe whether Spring Break’s reputation for debauched revelry was true or not.
It is one thing to hear/read about the stereotypical wild behaviors of these young adults vacationing with peers far from home . . . it’s another thing to be in the middle of it, up close and personal . . . the sights, the (loud) sounds, the smells!
March temperatures that weekend were well below normal for the area—in the low 60s with whipping winds. Yet the tacky souvenir shops and restaurants we visited were populated with small groups of very scantily-clad coeds in all shapes, sizes and colors . . . their flip-flops and jewelry covered more of their bodies’ surface area than their swimsuit fabric. These girls successfully attracted the attention of guys in board shorts, some of whom were already imbibing beer in the mid-morning. Alcohol certainly lowered inhibitions and impaired judgment about appropriate public behavior . . . as evidenced by groping, harassment and vulgar language.
It saddened me to observe young men and women on and off the beach openly and indiscriminately “trolling for hook-ups” that could result in future-destroying consequences. Colleges that promote promiscuity on campus while mocking moral restraint are engaging in educational malpractice, which contributes to the unbridled risky behavior during spring break.
The young ladies I saw were operating with the notion that their value came from how sexually attractive they were. The guys were acting as if their value was linked to how many women they could score sexually. Both were using each other in an attempt to meet needs only Christ can fulfill. I grieved that they were so spiritually lost, and I ended up shifting my impromptu “qualitative research” to prayer for their salvation.