A recent Duke University graduate has a lot of explaining to do, after what began as a private joke is spinning out of control since her 42-page sex diary went viral on the Internet.
CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reported on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning" that Karen Owen's mock thesis about "horizontal academics" - liaisons with 13 Duke athletes. Also, a 42-page PowerPoint presentation that named names, published photos, and included details about drunken make-out sessions, such as hooking up on the stairs of the packed library. A quote: "I felt like a prostitute hooking up with a roommate."
Strassman reported that in her e-mail to three friends, Owen even ranked them all as sexual athletes.
Her friends shared the PowerPoint presentation with their friends, and the whole thing became an Internet sensation - and a cautionary tale of "think before you hit 'send.'"
Steve Wiley, associate professor of communication at North Carolina State University, told CBS News, "Best to assume that we're under surveillance of one form or another most of the time."
Duke is embarrassed, Strassmann said.
Administrators said in a statement, "We've been reaching out to those affected by this incident and will continue to support them."
Strassmann pointed out that the athletes named are furious. And Karen Owen, a 22-year-old Duke alum, may be in for some interesting questions in future job interviews.
On "The Early Show," "Early Show" contributor Dr. Jennifer Hartstein, a child and adolescent psychologist, and Dr. Jeff Gardere, a psychologist, offered their opinions on the situation.
Hartstein said, "We've heard stuff like this from men a long time - the frat chats, they talk to each other behind closed doors - but the point she didn't think about, what I'm struck with, this young woman grew up in a digital era and broadcast this in such a brazen way. While I admire her to talk about it openly, to send it out without thinking about what the consequences of that might be, is dangerous and potentially destructive."
Gardere added, "This young woman, first of all, I don't want to put her down, I think this is really tragic what happened to her and the young men involved. A lot of her trysts involved alcohol, poor judgment. She talks about humiliation. But she sent this, from what we know, initially to three friends. And then from there, it went viral, no pun intended.
"I think it speaks about when you are talking about intimacy: it should be between you and that other person. For you to even share it with three other people, I think, is really wrong."
Hartstein said this instance is addressing a larger issue at colleges.
"There is this excessive everything - excessive drinking, excessive sex, there's excessive, you know, discussion. While I think, on one hand, it's nice [that] girls are catching up to boys and I support that, the fact it is happening indiscriminately -- she blacks out at one point -- that worries me because that happens more than not, and why aren't we addressing underlying issues."
Gardere did disagree with Hartstein on one point.
"This is not empowering women," he said. "Two wrongs do not make a right. Certainly guys have been doing this in college a long time, they brag about their exploits, and so on, and that was plain wrong. Now that women are being acknowledged being equal members of society, 'Women, please don't repeat the same stupid mistakes that men have made when it comes to sexual intimacy.'"
Hartstein responded, "I think what is empowering to women [is] they can be as assertive and aggressive in wanting to have sex. I think that, in part, women really were kind of taught to sit back and let men take charge. I think one of the things we're noticing here, she didn't necessary do that. She got involved, she was intimate. She made things happen."
Gardere replied, "And she was humiliated and talks about that and says, you know, 'What if I had to do this over? I would never do this again.' I think the bottom line is this is an 'Obama teachable moment.' When it comes to intimacy, keep it between you and that other person."
He added, "I can feel bad with her for the simple fact she will probably end up with a reality show. This is like 'Sex and the City': she really didn't do anything so bad, but poor judgment doesn't help her. Women don't look at her as a role model because she's not and she needs help."
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