Sex in the News: Debunking The ‘Lesbian Until Graduation’ Myth

The Kiss – probably one of the most popular posters for college guys. I’m referring to the picture, taken by Tanya Chalkin, of two girls, lying in bed in their underwear, kissing. Yes, the one I’m sure everyone has seen at one point or another during their college career. This picture, which is said to represent the freedom and experimentation during college, is one big, fat lie.

A study by the Center of Disease Control showed that it is actually women without high school diplomas that are more likely to have same-sex experiences than women in college. Sorry boys, but 10 percent of women aged 22 to 44 with a college degree reported to having a same-sex experience as opposed to 15 percent of women lacking a high school diploma. In addition, the numbers show that the numbers are rising for women with lower educational achievements.

Can you hear that? It’s the sound of college boys’ dreams shattering into teeny, tiny bits.

This study comes years after New York Magazine released a story called “Bi for Now,” which introduced the world to the idea and allegedly budding trend of ‘lesbians until graduation’ (or as they called them, ‘hasbians’). The idea was fun, exciting and controversial so, naturally, it caught on, and soon everyone was talking about it. Before long, girl on girl experimentation was thought of as just another college expectation, like final exams or getting really drunk on your 21st birthday.

It’s not to say there’s anything wrong with kissing a girl and liking it, but there is a problem with being pressured by others to experiment in a way you’re not comfortable with just because it’s a common belief that all college girls experiment with other girls. Especially when that belief is not even true.

And the pressure is everywhere. Not just at the campus bar where drunk guys gather and chant “KISS!” at two girls at the center of the circle. The whole idea of girl-on-girl experimentation has completely overwhelmed the media and perpetuated the idea that having a “lesbian encounter” is normal and expected.

Think about how lesbians, bisexuals or even bi-curious women are represented on TV and in movies. There’s the sorority girl, such as Rebecca Logan in Greek, who kisses one girl and then all of a sudden proclaims she’s a lesbian. There is no shock-and-awe, her “coming out” is shrugged off, and within a few episodes she’s back to guys. Or how about in Skins (the good UK version, not the MTV one) when two girls are told to kiss during play rehearsal even though it’s not part of the scene, and they do so without much hesitation.

I’ve never had a girl-on-girl experience, much like 90% of my female peers, but I have to imagine it’s not that easy, that quick, that carefree. I mean, that is if it’s actually a moment of experimentation and not just a ploy to get male attention. It’s not like throwing back a shot or hugging a friend; there is a lot of thought and emotion that goes into something like that and we don’t see that. Ever.

Instead, we see girls just frivolously kissing other girls, experimenting for a hot minute, then moving on as if nothing happened at all. How is someone supposed to truly explore this idea if it’s being treated with such blatant disregard everywhere she looks?

The seemingly¬†heterosexual woman character kissing another woman has become so prevalent and watered down that it’s now known as the “lesbian kiss episode” on television. Think about all the shows you watch (or used to watch) and how many times you’ve seen it: The O.C., Glee, Gilmore Girls, 90210, Gossip Girl, and the list goes on. Everybody’s doing it now.

Except they’re not. Not in real life, at least. Which means that none of us should ever feel pressured to try it out. Of course, if you’re curious, by all means, do it. But don’t feel bad if you don’t find yourself in the arms of another girl before you don that cap and gown. Just like there’s nothing wrong with never trying it out, there’s also nothing wrong with going LPG (Lesbian Post-Graduation).

What do you think about the ‘lesbian until graduation’ stereotype? Is it being exploited? Are you curious to experiment? Have you ever felt pressured to?

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