Author Discusses the Spread of Democracy and Focus on Pakistan in U.S. Foreign Policy

James Traub, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, spoke yesterday about democracy in the Middle East as well as his new book, “The Freedom Agenda: Why America Must Spread Democracy (Just Not the Way George Bush Did),” which was published last month.

“I think the American people . are deeply exhausted with both the language and the activity that is associated with all foreign policy ventures and that, in effect, George Bush has managed to undermine virtually all of the doctrines in whose name he has conducted foreign policy over the last eight years,” Traub said.

uch of the discussion centered on Pakistan and its prevalence in U.S. foreign affairs. According to Traub, Pakistan is a crucial country to the United States right now because it provides a potential example of the relationship between developing democracy and terrorism.

“If we are to prove anywhere that in fact democracy can be in some long-term sense the answer to terrorism, it is Pakistan where that issue is going to be joined,” Traub said.

ichele Dunne, editor of the Arab Reform Bulletin, a monthly online journal, and senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, provided comments and criticisms of Traub’s book at the event.

Dunne said that while democracy is popular in Arab countries, there are always potential risks for the United States when promoting democracy in this region. Dunne added that the United States has a propensity to mistake its desires for those of other nations.

“I sometimes feel as though we are not really talking about the Middle East, we are talking about ourselves,” Dunne said. “I am concerned that this becomes a recipe for ducking tough decisions and ignoring what is going on in the region.”

The event was sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and the Project on Middle East Democracy.

– Ashley Bradford

OkCupid.com Takes Intimate Look at Sex on Campus

A recent survey conducted by OkCupid.com polled 10,000 college students to discover their thoughts and attitudes about sex, including matters concerning issues like infidelity, promiscuity, STIs and abortion.

The survey, which is comprised of over one million data points, correlates the findings to many characteristics including hair color, Greek life involvement and distance from home.

“We wanted to carefully examine the ins and outs of college students’ sexual experiences. Pun intended. College students are infamously secretive with their families, and these students answered provocative questions with unique candor. We now have a comprehensive understanding, so that kids and parents alike can know what to expect upon entering college,” Sam Yagan, co-founder of OkCupid.com, said in a press release.

The survey was posted on OkCupid.com, the country’s largest free dating Web site. Students were required to list their colleges in attendance when replying to the survey. It only took a week to receive enough feedback to begin correlating points.

Survey results showed that the blondes weren’t always having the most fun. Results indicated that redheads are the more adventurous of the hair colors in the bedroom, with the highest percentages of redheads trying threesomes and group sex. Additionally, 35.5 percent of redheads polled said that they had “average” sexual confidence compared with 30.1 percent for brunettes and blondes.

A major focus of the survey dealt with methods of contraception and abortion. Of the students polled, 76.4 percent used or had a partner use Plan B or other emergency contraceptives, and almost 69.3 percent considered abortion an option for an unwanted pregnancy. Of the students polled, 40.6 percent were willing to encourage a friend to have an abortion.

“I’m surprised the Plan B statistic is that high because I would think most students have other forms of contraception available to them,” Jenny Lang (COL ’11) said. “If anything, I think that is more worrisome than the fact that women are now considering abortion as a viable alternative, because it means that they are having unprotected sex regularly.”

– Sarah Crum

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