With pickup lines like this article’s title, I can’t see why anyone would be surprised at the major finding of The Tech’s sex survey: 42 percent of MIT students are virgins, as opposed to a national college average of 20–25 percent. Why might this be? According to the survey, 30 percent of virgins said that it was their choice. Right. Come on, every MIT student out there who thinks of sex purely in terms of biological processes and, hence, is clueless, is going to say it’s their “choice.” There should have been an option on the survey that said “I haven’t had sex yet because I still have to take 7.012 (Intro to Biology).”
While MIT’s virgin culture does not match the national average, there are some ways in which it is similar. Compare MIT to Duke University, for instance, on the other end of the spectrum with their “hookup culture.” A girl from Duke was quoted as saying, “Everybody gives blow jobs now.” Surely not at MIT, where 42 percent of students are virgins, right? Wrong. If you are not a virgin, then there is a 96 percent chance that you have given or received oral sex.
While 42 percent are avoiding sex, the other 58 percent are quite satisfied. 65 percent of non-virgins rate their sex as having “high” or “very high” quality. And only 4 percent rate their sex as “low” or “very low” quality. So it appears that MIT students are good at doing more than just problem sets. And 51 percent are satisfied with the amount of sex that they are having in relationships or casual hookups. Quality and quantity. At MIT, we don’t sacrifice one for the other.
Breaking down survey data by dorm reveals some interesting correlations. Would Baker, the “party dorm,” have fewer virgins? Would “anti-social” MacGregor have more? Unsurprisingly, the frat boys come in first place with only 18 percent of their members as virgins. Senior House comes in a close second with about 19 percent and the sororities and “other off-campus” tied in third with about 25 percent virgins. Maybe the fraternities should consider advertising that fact as a recruitment method — “Join our fraternity and there’s a good chance you’ll lose your virginity by graduation!” At the other end of the spectrum, all-girl McCormick Hall comes in first place for the virgin dorms with a 82 percent virginity rate. Next House and Random Hall follow, with about 70 percent and 57 percent, respectively.
Now that we’ve covered the statistics, let’s get into the speculation. Numbers are just numbers until an opinion columnist tells you what they really mean. It’s quite believable that 40 percent of MIT students are virgins. Typically, sex happens at night. Maybe I’m an oddity, but in the last 62 hours of my life, I’ve had 10 hours of sleep. If I had been having sex, that number would be reduced. And if that number were reduced, there’s a good chance I would not be able to function properly. Indeed, 50 percent of non-virgins say that they could be having better sex, if only there were time.
So MIT students are often forced to make a choice: do I want to have sex or do I want to speak coherently tomorrow? Then, of course, there is the “nerd pride” that is inherent at one of the “smartest” schools in the world. Smart people with an unhealthy love of mathematics and engineering may try to use their talents to attract members of the opposite sex, perhaps not from MIT. Telling someone that “I don’t like my current girlfriend. Mind if I do a you-substitution?” only works if they know what a u-substitution is.
What can we conclude from this survey? Many MIT students either don’t have time for sex or choose to abstain. Or, they think they have better things to do. Of course, it is also possible that. although they are quite intelligent, some students lack the common sense and social aptitude to seize opportunities when they arise. Most likely, if someone randomly tells you that you are one well-defined function, they are probably not talking about math. In short, MIT has a unique sexual culture because it is a unique place. And for the 8 percent of you who don’t know where to get free condoms, they’re in the dorms.