A controversial safe sex advocate partially blamed higher education institutions for allowing unsafe behavior at a speech at a local conservative think tank Thursday.
Mariam Grossman recently published a book “Unprotected,” but authored it with the pseudonym “Anonymous, M.D.” because she feared rejection among the mental health community. Now, Grossman speaks out unashamed of her name and criticizing students and educational institutions.
“Radical social agendas have taken over campus health and counseling and it is making students sick,” Grossman said during a speech at the Family Research Council in front of about 80 people.
The main criticism Grossman expresses in the book is that campus counselors and health centers give students the “notion that regular sexual behavior is important whether or not it occurs with a regular sexual partner, and encouraged as long as latex is used.”
Grossman is a psychiatrist at the University of California-Los Angeles and said she feared becoming an outcast from her UCLA colleagues after publishing her book.
The prevalence of casual hook ups and friends-with-benefits situations on college campuses are causing more harm than many students realize, she said.
One of the clients Grossman describes, Heather, suddenly become depressed without an easily identifiable cause. Heather ultimately confessed to Grossman that she was engaged in a friends-with-benefits relationship, but she had deeper feelings for her partner that were not reciprocated. “During sexual activity, the hormone oxytocin is released, the same hormone that is released when a woman nurses her child, and leads to feelings of deep attachment,” Grossman said, adding that “Even if people don’t change their behavior, at least a girl will know the pain she feels from being ignored by a former partner is rooted in her biology, not her problems.”
Grossman also said that not everyone agrees with her analysis; she has received numerous e-mails from feminists who believe Grossman’s hypothesis is “sending women back 30 years,” she said.
Vilmaris Quinones-a graduate student in GW’s School of Public Health and Health Services and a research assistant for the clinical psychiatry center-said that Grossman “presented a different and interesting view than what we currently do in public health, which is usually prevention campaigns and education about sex.”
Grossman also believes many college health centers are incorrectly “theophobic,” and stray away from advising students to use religion as a tool for healing, even though it is “known that students who seek spiritual connections have better mental health than those that do not.”
Although she believes, “spiritual guidance would not work for every student, when (a student) is suicidal, the possibility is worth exploring.”
Noraine Buttar-also a graduate student in GW’s School of Public Health and Health Services and an executive associate of psychiatry-described Grossman’s ideas as innovative, “but I will have to read the book before I decide whether I agree with her.”
Though Grossman has not been asked to leave her position, she said she is searching for a new job and possibly a new profession.