I ask a class of students in a figure drawing class at Parsons The New School for Design near Manhattan's Union Square. " The students, would-be artists and fashion designers who come from all over the world, laugh.
In a school where nearly 80 percent of the students are female and many men are gay, their prospects are few.
If you’re like me, you want to “crack the code.” What do guys—particularly Christian guys—think of flirting?After one study, graduate student Stephanie Nestor told me that in the past year six of her friends have gotten engaged. She is coming off a failed relationship: "It would have ended earlier without all the pressure. You either risk nothing or you risk everything." We talked about which Jane Austen book captures what she's trying to say: She suggested half (the waiting and waiting), but "without any chance of a happy Austenish ending." Those who advocate courtship take pains to say that some people have carried it too far and made it legalistic.In each case the guys had never dated before: "Guys want to be sure before they date that this is the one. Women don't get asked out." Ellyn Arevalo, an assistant to UT professor Mark Regnerus (see sidebar), voiced her frustration: "You don't have to know you want to marry me to ask me out. Brett Harris, one of Josh Harris' younger brothers, is 22 and a PHC junior.You need to be careful and conscious or that will happen." After a while he got up the courage to ask a second girl out. I was so strong-willed and angry." After the divorce, Encinias failed 9th and 10th grades. God worked, and Encinias changed his ways and lost 200 pounds.
Things went OK, yet he concluded, "We both love Jesus but we want different things." Now he is skittish and doesn't know how "he'll jump back in." He's been wondering about that for the past year and a half: "I don't make decisions I know will hurt." Other Christian students tell fearful stories shaped by the past several decades of rampant divorce. At community college he won accolades and earned the grades that won him college admission.Encinias is looking for male role models and admits to watching a favorite professor "as a hawk." It's not that he's trying to map out a similar path, but he wants to see why this married Christian man with stellar credentials "has joy no matter what." Encinias doesn't want his fear to limit him: He is half-heartedly moving toward relationships and knows his decision is somehow "bound up with my parents." Whether the reasons are old or new, many young men seem frozen, unsure of the right way to proceed.