Skip Nav
Wedding Decor
100 Ideas For a Summer Camp Wedding
55 Creative Tattoos You'll Want to Get With Your Best Friend
43 Bangin' (and Beautiful) Tattoos

Boys and Girls Mixed? Are Coed Dorm Rooms a Good Idea?

Not stopping at coed floors or even coed bathrooms, some colleges are offering the choice for coed dorm rooms. Though it seems like permission for romantic undergraduate cohabitation, a lot of students see it as a chance to live with their friends who just happen to be of the opposite sex, and some gay students who feel more comfortable rooming with someone of the opposite sex like the option, too.

About two dozen schools — like Brown University, University of Pennsylvania, Oberlin College, Clark University, and the California Institute of Technology allow the gender-blind room arrangements. The University of Pennsylvania started offering the option in 2005 and about 120 out of 10,400 students chose the option this year. UC Riverside started the plan at the same time and now has 50 of their 6,000 students in campus housing, with roommates of the opposite sex.

One female student with a male roommate says, "people are shocked to hear that it's happening and even that it's possible [but] once you actually live in it, it doesn't actually turn into a big deal."

One less fancy-free parent says, "When you have a male and female sharing such close quarters, I think it's somewhat delusional to think there won't be sexual tension. Maybe this generation feels more comfortable walking around in their underwear. I'm not sure that's a good thing."

Is it? Is it a sign of progressive ideas about gender — or just asking for trouble? Would you do it?


Join The Conversation
justadadX3 justadadX3 9 years
Natshea - we think of them as children because they are not out on their own, paying their own bills, and also have no track record of making sound decisions. And if they are riding on my bank account, I get a say in their behavior. They want to cut that cord, fine with me, but there is no safety net once they do - they are totally on their own from that point on. I don't want that - but that is the natural consequence that comes with being an adult. I see 18 & 19 YOs laying rubber in the local swimming pool parking lot. Obviously adulthood is not determined by the number of candles on the cake.
justadadX3 justadadX3 9 years
Great - now I need to ask colleges about their promiscuity friendly policies in addition to the normal questions about student faculty ratio, campus safety, graduation rates, tuition, fees, financial aid. If a school wants my money, they will not put this policy in place - I'm not paying to send my kid to party central. It seems that there is a lot of confusion about the purpose of an education out there. And putting hormal kids just out of adolescence into a co-ed dorm room is NOT what getting an education is about (unless they are majoring in out of wedlock sex - in which case it is perfectly fine - not a lot of jobs in that field though - unless you want to move to NE where prostitution is legal). I do not subscribe to the "let kids make their own decisions and live with the consequences" cart blanche - maybe to some degree but they lack teh maturity and long term perspective to make sound decisions in this regard.
duck-duck-goose duck-duck-goose 9 years
Oh, I see. Thanks for your help, em.
natshea natshea 9 years
These students are adults. Many of which do not live on campus anyway and can choose whoever they want to live with. Also, why do people still think of them as children since they are still students. If they hadn't chose to go on to college and just went straight into the job market instead , society's perception of them would be more adult-like.
em113 em113 9 years
duck duck goose this policy isn't for incoming freshman. Its for sophomores and up who know each other. If you click the link to the article you will see the two examples they give are people who've met at college.
duck-duck-goose duck-duck-goose 9 years
"It's not like they are going to put random females and males in a room together." But aren't most dorm assignments random? (I don't know; I never lived in a dorm during my studies.) If the university has a progressive co-ed dorm policy, then. . .? **I'm confused.**
jessie jessie 9 years
wonder how many parents would go for it..telling their kids..i'm not gonna pay if you live with him/her..hmm..time will tell.
stargazer25 stargazer25 9 years
The policy is progressive. Schools have themed residence halls around sexuality and ethnicity, why not permit sharing your room with who you choose. It's not like they are going to put random females and males in a room together.
juliarose23 juliarose23 9 years
to me that just seems like an endless list of awkward situations....
em113 em113 9 years
vansanta this policy doesnt usually apply to frosh. It applies to sophomores and up because people already know each other. Its not like schools place random guys and girls together as freshman.
twentyducks twentyducks 9 years
I stayed in a coed dorm while studying abroad and I liked it. Everyone had their own bedroom and there was a shared bathroom and kitchen. The guys were much cleaner and nicer than living with girls, too. There was no 'tension' and most couples I knew were actually living separately.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Since the brain doesn't fully develope until the mid twenties, I have a hard time calling 18yr olds complete rational adults. They are legal, yes, but not rational.
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
I don't know. I feel like people should be able to make their own decisions. I'm sure a lot of people in relationships who can't live in a dorm with their significant other just decide to get an apartment off campus so they can live together anyways. It's not really a big deal.
piesecki piesecki 9 years
My goodness, students are 18 years old for crying out loud! Surely they're old enough to make their own choices about who they live with and who they have sex with, and to deal with the consequences good or bad?!
BeamerCG BeamerCG 9 years
I went to the Coast Guard Academy and they only had co-ed dorms. It really wasn't a big deal. Though, if you were in a room with mixed genders the door had to be open, and any sort of physical displays of affection could get you in trouble or worse. Did people shack up anyways? Yes, but college kids are going to do that regardless of how the dorms are set up,
vasanta vasanta 9 years
blah blah blah. there will be sexual tension for sure. are these colleges crazy, or just trying so hard to be cool? college frosh (they are the ones who live in dorms) dont need this extra load of trouble as they transition to the university world. allow them to concentrate on their studies.
em113 em113 9 years
julieulie that's not always an option. My school has this policy and it's really hard to get off-campus housing. We need to apply and you need to have a very good specific reason for living off-campus, so very few people do it. And to the question about it costing lots of money because of restructuring halls etc. that's not really an issue here. All of our housing options (save maybe one floor in all of campus) are already co-ed with gender-neutral bathrooms so the policy doesn't require any structural changes.
stiletta stiletta 9 years
LOL j2e1n9. Disgusting, but funny.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Ew gross! ;) I wouldnt live with a boy again (grew up with a brother) if you paid me! (until I get married and absolutely have to) They are messy and smelly and snore and make other weird noises all day long. They never change their sheets and they never put away their laundry. They eat in bed and they wank off into their socks and leave them under the bed. Sick! :P
laellavita laellavita 9 years
In my first year of college, I had a really iffy roommate and I ended up spending all the time in my friend's room. He and I just ended up renting an apartment together off campus because my school won't allow for coed dorms. He's gay, which makes it a lot easier I suppose, but I think I'd even be comfortable living with him if he were straight. We just have that rapport and we live together very well. The only thing we ever fight about is who is going to pay for dinner or something. :)
allthingsgrow allthingsgrow 9 years
I would do it.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Most colleges already have at least one dorm with at least one co-ed floor. :? Of the two I lived in my freshman year, one had shared bathrooms and one didn't. Both were at the same school, so presumably when a college decides to co-ed-ify a floor, they don't necessarily decide to add in more bathrooms.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
College is the last place where young adults should be learning about the real world.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Other than that means major remodeling and $$$ for just a few people... That's the point I'm trying to make.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Any step colleges want to take toward treating students less like children and more like adults who need to be responsible for their own choices is good by me. Undave - Presumably they would put co-ed rooms on co-ed floors. The numbers indicate that it's a pretty small group of people at each school who make this choice, so it's unlikely to affect much.
Hottest Photos of Chef Franco Noriega Poll
Harry Styles Talking About Manchester Attack at Concert
Kindergarten Class Reacts to Wonder Woman
Adam West Dead
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds