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About Oregon daily emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1920-2012 | View Entire Issue (March 30, 1938)
The Problems Facing a Course in Marriage
jTUST ;it present the movement to
c offer a eourse in marriage rela
tionships seems to be at a standstill.
•There have been few reports of pro
gress since the flurry of interest and
activity caused by the visit of Dr.
Dud Popenoe to the campus as an
assembly speaker and as one of the
authorities on the annual series of
i nrriage lectures.
The need for such a eourse at
this and other universities is obvious.
As an institution, marriage is faced
with the problem of adjustment to
) w economic, moral, and social stan
dards since the era of the industrial
re volution and its attendant sweep
ing social changes.
Experts have exclaimed over the
increasing number of divorces, the
> Auction in average number of
children to the family, and the fact
that the ‘‘educated” classes—if such
a distinction can be permitted in
'democratic America—-do not repro
duce as rapidly as do their poorer
.compatriots. They have frowned
upon the “cheapening” of marriage
as an institution and have predicted
dire consequences for people so de
fy aerate and for nations with reced
>. g birth r^tes.
*t *< «•
JT would not be sound reasoning
to attribute these conditions and
1 ends Avliieli the sociologists have
, discovered to universities or to any
• other single group. Universities and
• colleges do. however, provide an op
l artunity for considering and com
b-ting these tendencies, tvhieli have
} cently become so obvious. And col
leges do have some problems, im
j"*rtant problems, in this field which
t nnot much longer be ignored.
The love and marriage lecture
h "it's lias doin' the pioneer work in
Ibis field, as far as Oregon is con
'■(•rned. Its main value has been in
\ iving the way for a sounder, more
* thorough stud;, of marriage. - It is
c • pioneer, tin* breaker-down of
l a boos. . .
lint the work of the lecture
t< "ies lias now been done. Ktudents,
I -ulty. and others have been
1 ought to the realization of the
) > oblcm. Having accomplished its
l imar\ jiurjiosc, the series should
i w be discarded for a better metli
( ' t bringing- marriage education to
t 'ergradua!cs, for as an eduea
1 i-ona 1 medium the lecture series is
l obably at present accomplishing
b tie and may lie doing more harm
t ,n good.
In the Home Stretch
(The Stanford Daily)
LAST November well over 100 students registered in a University
experiment now popularly known as “sex” or “marriage.”
Limited facilities necessitated cutting the number of applicants who
could enroll and next week 56 of the senior class will finish Social
Science 120 with a someuiiat adequate knowledge of the trials and
triumphs of married life.
Agitation for such a course started during the administration o£
A.S.S.U. President Jim Reynolds. Rather feeble embers were fanned
into existence -by the editorial insistence of Gordy Frost until a com
mittee of Miss Doyle and Professors Hilgard, Fagan, and Reynolds was
appointed to investigate needs and possibilities.
Finding both, and the consent of Dr. Wilbur, the committee organized
the course to include the physiological and psychological aspects of mar
riage, vocational considerations, legal aspects of the family, budgeting,
consumer education, and parental education and care of offspring.
Panels on controversial issues such as birth control and the place of
women have been held by the class itself, and the various members of
the faculty have provided the lectures.
Yesterday committee members Doyle, Hilgard, Fagan, and Reynolds
gathered at Laguinta to discuss more needs and possibilities. That is,
should the course be continued.
Deciding to give students a voice, the committee will hand out next
Friday forms on which the class may rate the course.
Early next quarter when grades are in and when students can look
at the course in perspective, a bull session will be held to further deter
mine their feelings.
This much is obvious. The course will not be repeated in the spring
quarter. Next winter perhaps if student interest warrants it, if the
report of the faculty is favorable, and if financial backing is assured,
the course will continue.
Well planned, well organized, and well directed, the course has been
successful from all standpoints. Already a lap ahead of most univer
sities, Stanford should maintain the lead it has taken.
By all standards, Social Science 120 should be taken out of the
experimental stage and made a definite part of the school curriculum.
J^EFORE any course, lecture series.
or other method of instruction
can accomplish its purpose, the atti
tude of those offering the work and
of the students taking it must be
There can be no half-truths, no
concealment, no slighting of certain
phases, for if there is the student
will be further handicapped rather
than helped by his study.
The material the course presents
must be rounded and complete. At
present, a goodly share )o,f the
courses the 1'nivarsity offers, includ
ing all those in biology and soci
ology.. touch upon some phase of the
problem of marriage and sex rela
tionships. From such sources the
student gleans true but incomplete
knowledge of these important topics.
More often than not the case for
marriage as a social institution and
an influence in after-college life is
but scantily presented, if it is pre
sented at all.
npiIAT is what Dr. Popenoe was
referring to when he confirmed
recent remarks of Dr. Cary, a New
York physician and authority on
marriage, that college women of to
day are prone to “experiment” in
Dr. Popenoe’s statement was the
strongest possible argument against
the existing methods which spread
dangerous half-knowledge. It indi
cates undeniably the need for plan
ned and complete education, through
a course, perhaps, which tells the
whole story of'marital relationships
—from courting to old age.
The Emerald printed Dr. Pope
noe \s remarks. Through indirect
channels the information has been
advanced that University authorities
were shocked by such brazen treat
ment of such a delicate subject. So
shocked, in fact, that the proposed
course may be abandoned.
It is obvious that the best possible
thing to do under such conditions is
to abandon the course. Nothing valu
able can possibly be gained from
material presented on such propa
gandists. narrow, and mid-Victorian
basis. The only result would be the
increased dissemination of curiosity
# * #
jgUT it is unfortunate if this must
be done. The postponement of
actual constructive work in this
line means that all the work of
ground-clearing done by the lecture
series not only goes for naught but
becomes a positive evil.
The taboos surrounding the sub
ject have been broken down. If stu
dents are permitted and encouraged
to continue to make their decisions
in matters pertaining to marriage on
the basis of hints and psuedo-truths,
those decisions are bound to be faul
ty and conduct based upon them can
lead only to misfortune.
It has not been too many years
since these topics and others, such
as venereal disease, were considered
unmentionable. Society prides itself
upon having dispelled the taboos
surrounding these personal matters.
Science, sociology, and philosophy
claim to have made important ad
vances in such fields through the
Society and science cannot stop
now. Having shattered taboos which
served fairly well in the absence of
knowledge, the next step must be
taken. Knowledge must be advanced
to replace the taboos.
J^NOWLEDGE and truth cannot
do this if those who control their
dissemination still hold to antiquated
concepts in an age which has
brushed the taboos accompanying
and justifying those concepts to one
The fact that sex or venereal dis
ease are no longer horrid words does
not necessarily solve the problems
arising from them. It rather in
creases those problems because it
causes injudicious action on false
The evil has already been done.
Good can only be salvaged from the
wreckage of reticence and “holy”
marriage if the new problems can be
studied thoroughly and calmly. Stan
ford has made a beginning and is
now reckoning the results. Oregon
has pioneered in the early stages of
this work. It would be too bad if
those who have inherited tlie job of
extending the work until it is actual
ly of value are not broad enough to
realize the necessity for straight-for
ward effort in the task.
Preparing the Student for the Better Life-and a Paying Position
JJNVhKTAINTY about tIn* future must have
filled the minds of more than a few of the
r veral hundred Oregon seniors who laid their
coins on tlit' counter at registration last week. Ap
I ehensive, those senior* might also have felt some
d » :bt as to what extent four years at Oregon have
| repared them to cope with future problems.
I hey should entertain such doubt. When the
t ; ior shoved tin1 money for his last-term fees over
t eouuter, the i n: versity's responsibility for hi*
C 'tiny was nearing an end. Yet the institution’s
t dc j)reparing the student for a fuller life—will
) have been satistaetorily completed, for in many
c m‘n the graduate will find himself only half
e nipped to meet demands of prospective em
* * #
]V0 *01l-~ ;lh° l^;11‘l W. (bithank told an Kmerald
reporter that his work as dean of personnel
* duinist rat ion he •* constantly coming in contact
\ dt employers, seeking graduates with one or two
years' experience in the business ■world. The fact
that employers are clamoring: for university-edu
cated employees should gladden the hearts of
graduates, for it portends palmier days.
But the employer asks more of the prospective
employee than graduation, lie wants men and
women with “one or two years’ experience.”
Where in the college curricula could the stu
dent have gained such experience in any line of
business? Acquainting the student with actual
working conditions has been undertaken by sev
eral deparments but such training does not satisfy
the-stipulations of the employer.
nPIIK 1 'Diversity has long held that it is fulfilling
its purpose when it prepares the student for a
‘‘fuller” life. In that field it has gained an ample
degree of success. It has prepared him to observe
the world around him with greater understanding,
to have a broadened interest in its events. Prepar
dug the student for sustaining that .life should,
however, be one of its objectives..
A number of American colleges and universi
ties are attempting to do this. At Columbia and
Aew \ ork universities the course of study includes
voik in business firms. For this work the student
A paid, and his work-hours are accredited to the
fulfillment of degree requirements. Courses offer
ing a stud\ of theory integrated with actual busi
ness experience are being worked out elsewhere.
Although these programs of student training
are still in the experimental stage, they have been
hailed by many educators as a necessary part in
progressive education. Granting that Oregon’s
location does not lend itself to extensive local train
ing courses, as does that of a metropolitan eol
h gt . the fact still remains that Oregon is not eapi
tahzmg on the opportunities available.
AH concerned in an “on the job’’ training
pi <>t-i ‘tin a\ oiihl profit. The graduate would have
As ti .lining rounded and strengthened without
(Continued on page tjeven) ,