A proposal by education officials in Beijing that would require college students to take a course empirically exploring love and relationships has been met with student opposition.
The course, which focuses on both homosexual and heterosexual relationships, would offer different theories and even suggestions for dealing with breakups and heartbreak in a healthy manner, according to the Chinese Xinhua News Agency.
Some students are understandably upset by the course, which can be perceived as an attempt to tell them how to love, but the concept is one that’s worthy of consideration by colleges in the U.S., as it can produce long-standing benefits for both students and society.
It’s true that some students who aren’t interested in relationships would be taking a class they may not want to attend, but the same is true of students who are already regularly required to attend other courses.
Students at USF and other universities across the U.S. are required to take courses on subjects such as fine arts, principles of science, history and college-level mathematics. These courses make up a large portion of degree requirements, as well as time and financial costs.
But as students finish these requirements and focus primarily on their major’s required courses, they may never again remember or need the information they were required to learn in these classes.
It’s fair to say that a majority of students will, at some point in their lives, be involved in a romantic or sexual relationship with another person. Yet, relationships are often filled with regrets and hard-earned lessons, some of which can even lead some to suicide. According to the National Institute of Health, suicide is the third-leading cause of death for those between 14 and 25 years old in the U.S.
Many students, including those at USF, may only be able to take a course on the psychological and biological aspects of human relationships, or attend optional counseling sessions by themselves or with their significant other at a school’s counseling center.
These will help students understand the mechanics of human relationships or work to correct relationship issues they have already created. However, they don’t necessarily help all students avoid relationship problems before they happen.
In addition, sexual education and relationship counseling classes are entirely optional and, therefore, wouldn’t offer as much important information to the majority of students on maintaining a healthy relationship and how to handle the aftermath if it doesn’t work out.
Colleges already explore every aspect of human existence, establishing critical thinking and teaching students to come to their own conclusions.
A course taking the same approach to romance and relationships could not only give passing students credits, but also healthier life-long relationships and future home environments – results that no other single class requirement could ever produce.