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Duke University student's PowerPoint sex 'thesis' goes viral

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critiquing the men she’s slept with to her nearest, dearest friends?

Oh, you can imagine.

,” and complete with pictures of the men she slept with — has gone viral online. It’s attracting

and possibly even a

(in this day and age, of course it will).

In the extraordinary sexual dossier, Miss Owen, from Connecticut, graphically describes her lovers, how they met in bars and what they did after their binge drinking sessions. Each of her 13 lovers are named and pictured – sometimes partially naked – while intimate details are also revealed. She details their “pros” and “cons” and ranks their sexual prowess out of 10 in coloured charts and an “official f—” list.

a few years ago.

, frames the Karen Owen story as the

once and for all:

…unlike the senescent suffragettes of collectible coin fame, Karen Owen didn’t just achieve equality; she actually managed to demean the opposite sex to the point where one must ask if the term “weaker sex” shouldn’t be replaced with “freakier sex.” Can anybody really argue that gender inequality still exists when a seemingly innocent and fairly generic Duke girl can bring down the reputations of more than a dozen varsity athletes with a simple .pptx file, and the only comeuppance she receives is a rumor of a book deal? I’m telling you, the glass ceiling is in a million little pieces, and Palin and Hilldog had nothing to do with it. So instead of throwing around words like “slut” and “whore,” why not celebrate this achievement as the Seneca Falls Convention of the Internet age?
“I regret it with all my heart. I would never intentionally hurt the people that are mentioned on that.”

MIdnight blogger exposes a scandal

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Karen owen powerpoint: duke university student's sex thesis poses question of double standard.

duke sex thesis powerpoint

Duke University alum Karen Owen's graphic sex PowerPoint thesis -- in which she analyzes and critiques her college-era conquests -- has entertained some and infuriated others. The Today Show takes the temperature at Duke and has experts weigh in on Owen's situation.

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An education beyond the classroom: excelling in the realm of horizontal academics

Karen F. Owen

Senior Honors Thesis

Duke University

Submitted to the Department of Late-Night Entertainment

in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a

Degree in Tempestuous Frolicking (D.T.F)

Senior year and college in general often bring about certain situations that result in the seeking of so-called “ sex .” Until now, no studies have succeeded in developing a methodology for quantifying and ranking these so-called horizontal academics. In this study, we used data from four years at Duke University to create evaluation criteria for such encounters and applied these criteria to the evaluated Subjects, hopefully allowing for future maximization of enjoyment of such procedures.

Subject 1: Tony McDevitt

Subject 2: David Goulet

Subject 3: Ben Grisz

** On the advice of a close friend, and my own sentiments, I feel that the fourth and final hookup with Subject 3 deserves a bit more attention. As she put it, “I mean fucking in the library IS your entire thesis!” The perfect combination of sex and academics, it represented the climactic culmination of my entire research project. As previously mentioned, we left Shooters before I even went inside of the bar—I was craving physical contact that evening, and wanted another specimen or two (or three) from this aggressive stud. We got in the cab and went back to West Campus; I should probably say that the cab driver got a money and a show. We got out and paid, and he turned to me with this look in his eyes and said “Let’ do this somewhere different this time…somewhere crazy.” I instantly thought of the library (keep in mind this was the middle of finals weeks at 1:00 AM), and so after a quick McDonalds run to help us sober up a bit, we headed that way (we were both stumbling a little, and I was wearing a low cut orange tank, a short skirt, and gold heels – clearly not my typical study outfit). We walked in and I asked where we should try this; he replied simply “I’m following you…you lead the way.”

Emboldened by the few number of visible people on 1 st floor Perkins, I suggested we take the elevator up to the fourth floor, and find some isolated stacks. On the brief journey up we hooked up very briefly; his hands were all over me and I considered pressing the emergency stop button and just going for it there. We got off in the middle of the most packed floor I had ever seen, so I immediately grabbed his hand and made for the nearest exit stairwell, avoiding the stares of millions of students, with both of us laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of it. I made for a stairwell I knew led to the staff’s work area, and thus one very unlikely to be used by students. It was empty; I led him down a few stairs, but we only made it one level before he grabbed my shoulders, pushed me hard against a wall on the landing, and started kissing me. We were both extremely turned on already, just from the anticipation of illicitly fucking in a crowded library, and both of our hands were in rapid-fire motion, all over each other. In other words, it wasn’t long before we had moved on to the R-rated activities. One of my favorite things about Subject 3 has always been the creativity and the variation in positions. Even here in the library stairwell, with my shirt pulled down, my skirt pushed up and the possibility of someone walking in on us an extremely real one, we managed to improvise and appraise different angles and poses. The stairs and railings allowed for positions we had never been able to try before. The lighting was harsh, giving us both the sense that we were starring in a cheap porno (indeed, it really was a miracle that nobody walked in on us), which quite frankly added to the eroticism of the entire sequence. Neither of us bothered to be particularly quiet or gentle (something which definitely resulted in a lot of bruises on me the next day); indeed, we let go of all our inhibitions and just enjoyed the fuck and each other’s bodies. The newness of the location made even the most basic acts such as blow jobs, for example, ten time hotter (or so he told me).

After we were both exhausted, bruised, drenched, and satisfied, we reclothed and continued down the stairs to head back to his dorm room. On the way out, we walked past Joe Tkac (lacrosse), who took one look at me, said “Oh heyyy, Karen…what are you up to tonight?” and died laughing (both of us looked like we had just clearly engaged in ‘extracurricular’ activities) and several other people we knew, a source of great amusement for myself and the Subject. The entire walk back to his dorm was the foreplay for our next hookup (he may or may not have had my panties in his pocket). His hands were all over me, and we kept having to stop in little corners or staircases because we both wanted each other so badly we almost couldn’t wait. The absurd steamy passion of the last hookup, combined with the anticipation for the next made that the most erotic walk of my life. Literally the second we entered his room and shut the door our clothes were off and my clothes were torn off and, as popular culture puts it, he morphed into Mr. Flintstone and made that Bedrock.

Memorable Moments : I mean, we fucked in a fucking Duke University library during fucking finals week.

Pros : Everything. Ev-er-y-thing.

Cons : None.

Raw Score : 10/10

Subject 4: Jeremy Gould

Subject 5: Stephen Coyle

Subject 6: Alex Hassan

Subject 7: Jake Lemmerman

After that session began a long string of Jakob hookups, separated by periods of intense sexting, something which fully deserves its own slide

"so did you both fuck him?" "3some?"

"tell me about it...need details" “what did you do? be more descriptive" "so you both want my D?"

Each time, after 13 minutes, to the dot, if I had not yet responded he would send the following text:

Subject 8: Sean Brady

Subject 9: Will McKee

Subject 10: Tucker Virtue

Subject 11: Sam Spillane

Subject 12: Zach Howell

Subject 13: Tyler Rice

Evaluation Process

The Subject’s Raw Scores were based on an, admittedly subjective, range of criteria that I had established long before commencing my research project:

The Official Fuck List

Rank Subject (Score)

1 . Zach Howell (10.25/10)

2 . Will McKee (9.5/10)

3 . Ben Grisz (9/10)

4 . Sean Brady (8.75/10)

5 . Jake Lemmerman (8.25/10)

6 . Tucker Virtue (7.75/10)

7 . Tyler Rice (7/10)

8 . Jeremy Gould (4/10)**

9 . Tony McDevitt (4/10)**

10 . Alex Hassan (3/10)**

11 . Sam Spillane (3/10)**

12 . Stephen Coyle (3/10)**

13 . David Goulet (1/10)

** Where the scores were tied, rank was awarded for looks, body type, creativity, and most importantly, my level of entertainment


I would like to thank all of my Subjects, without whose willing participation, cooperation, and specimens I would not have been able to complete this project. I sincerely thank Shooters, He’s Not Here, my friends, and alcohol in general, without whose help and support my task would have been greatly impeded. I extend a special thanks to Jakob Lemmerman, whose sext “How do I rank on your fuck list?” provided the initial inspiration for my thesis, and Talia Schwartz, who encouraged me to expand it far beyond its original scope.

College Girl's PowerPoint "Fuck List" Goes Viral

Duke is in an uproar about a highly detailed "fuck list" that a recent female graduate made — in PowerPoint , complete with penis-size evaluations and dirty talk transcripts. We've got that document, and spoke exclusively to the now-contrite author.

The full document begins at the bottom of the page.

Upon graduating, the author decided to pass on the wisdom she had learned, in thesis format. The subject: "An education beyond the classroom: excelling in the realm of horizontal academics." The thirteen subjects are each preceded by a tableau of photos of the men, most of which seem to be pulled from Facebook and athletic action shots. (There are lots of athletes on the list, including many players from Duke's lacrosse team, whose behavior has come under scrutiny in the past, though they were cleared of wrongdoing.)

Each man is graded using the following criteria:

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The author told us this morning that she never intended for the presentation to go beyond the three friends she sent it to in May, but that recently one friend (who has since admitted to it) forwarded it to another, and it went viral. It has since been sent to multiple listservs, including fraternity listservs.

She pointed out, as did our original tipster, that frats make lists like this all the time. Still, she said repeatedly, "I regret it with all my heart. I would never intentionally hurt the people that are mentioned on that."

She has since deleted or blocked all her social media profiles — the latter-day equivalent of going into hiding. Duke's Dean of Students called her recently, the author told us, to check in. We contacted the Dean of Students, who declined to comment.

The subjects' social prominence as students has helped make this an even bigger deal. "The people that are named in it are the kinds of people that everyone wants to be or be with," the author said. "The top dogs, or whatever."

We're not condoning putting any of these sorts of things in writing or within range of the Internet, especially when using the real names of your partners. But you know what? Here's another reminder that women can be as flip, aggressive, or acquisitive about sex as men can. And there's nothing wrong with that, as long as all parties are consenting. (Of course, these guys didn't consent to have their performances publicly evaluated, but there you go. Again, people, do not put it in writing.)

So what does she say? Well, there were significant ups and downs in the author's experience, but she remained upbeat throughout. A low point:

And when it was good, it was really, really good.

Some of it is downright hilarious:

It was on the cab ride back that I discovered he was rude, Canadian, and spoke mostly in French. Needless to say, the warning flags were waving furiously, yet, in the interest of my research and out of a perverse curiosity, I decided to continue towards his apartments [sic] .

And some of it is rather self-aware:

Not only was he incredibly attractive, but at that point in my academic career I was quite insecure, and while I never reached the point of engaging in physical activity with people I found unattractive, I still was more susceptible to compliments than I currently am.

Alcohol is usually involved ("My second hookup with Subject 7 was an entirely new experience for me: a 100% sober booty call"). With one subject, the author blacked out and doesn't remember having sex, but doesn't seem troubled, by her own account. There is some porn-watching, one incident of fucking in a library, and sexting is also a major feature:

Overall, very little regret and lots of good humor. Now that she's apologized, we suggest that she keeps on owning it and then move on, because the fickle Internet surely will. And to anyone else tempted to chronicle their sexual exploits in an easily-reproducible format just... don't do it.

The document in full:

content has been localized for visitors from the United States

Karen Owen Powerpoint: A Woman's Perspective on the Duke University Sex List

This Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 photo shows Duke Chapel in Durham, N.C. On Thursday, just days after announcing that a traditional Muslim call to prayer would echo from the historic chapel tower, Duke University changed course after being bombarded with calls and emails objecting to the plan. Instead, Muslims will gather for their call to prayer in a grassy area in front of the chapel before heading into a room in the chapel for their weekly prayer service on Friday. (AP Photo/Jonathan Drew)

Owen documented her sexual encounters with 13 different Duke University athletes in a PowerPoint presentation, and she “graded” each athlete based on performance, experience, and the size of his equipment.

The list has now become public knowledge after Owen e-mailed her presentation to a few close friends, and now her name (and unfortunately her picture) has been plastered all over the Internet.

Owen may not have meant for this “project” to be read by the entire country, but we have to wonder what exactly she was thinking.

Must Read: Karen Owen and the Top Sports Sex Scandal Whistleblowers of All Time

Read some of the highlights of Owen’s “thesis” here .

As a young woman (about the same age as Karen Owen), I feel obligated to weigh in on this matter.

Karen Owen Powerpoint: A Woman's Perspective on the Duke University Sex List

Historically, men have been the ones to brag about their sexual encounters and pursue multiple partners with little judgment from their peers, but with the popularity of television shows such as Sex and the City , today’s modern woman has begun to embrace her sexuality more than ever before.

The double standard still exists: A woman who sleeps around is a “slut,” but a man who sleeps around is “The Man.” Many women have attempted to reclaim this exclusive sexual power from the male population through visual art, television, movies, books, etc., and this feminist movement has given women more sexual freedom than we have ever experienced.

There is nothing wrong with women expressing their sexual desires (yes guys, we have them too), and a healthy sex life is nothing to be ashamed of. It is finally okay for women to talk about sex, and we frequently do so.

If you think guys are raunchy when they get together, try sitting in on a “girls’ night.”

But there is a difference between having a good time and being just plain irresponsible.

I understand that college gives most young adults a new kind of freedom. The day that your parents drop you off at your dorm and drive off is like the day you receive your driver’s license...multiplied by about a million.

There are no more rules. No more curfews. No more “watching a movie” with your high school boyfriend. You are free to do whatever you want, whenever you want...with whomever you want.

Throughout Karen Owen’s college experience, she was able to explore this new-found freedom. I do not fault Owen for doing so. Everyone has his or her own set of personal morals, and I cannot judge her for what she chose to do with her time and her body.

However, she did make one mistake: She put it in writing.

Owen may not have intended to share her private life with the world, and humiliating 13 young men was almost definitely not part of her agenda.

But that’s the risk you take in a society that thrives on e-mail, text messaging, and Google.

As soon as Karen Owen opened her PowerPoint program, the question of whether she had any malicious intent became irrelevant.

These guys did nothing wrong. They were not the first (and they will not be the last) young people to engage in promiscuous behavior, and it is unfortunate that they will have to justify behavior that is far from unique with people their age.

College students (including these 13 athletes) live in a bubble that protects them from most of the judgment and consequences that their behavior would surely earn them in the “real world.”

Karen Owen burst that bubble, and for that, she deserves any backlash she receives.

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Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.

Duke Student Karen Owen Details Her Sexcapades with Blue Devil Athletes

duke sex thesis powerpoint

Duke University students and officials have found themselves under an assault of media attention for the wrong reason once again — kind of.  At the moment, it doesn’t appear any of the Blue Devils that were listed in Karen Owen’s phony senior thesis , which outlines sexual encounters she had over her college career with Duke student athletes , actually did anything wrong.

Yes, you read that correctly.  A young woman from Duke University actually chronicled — in detail — sexual experiences she had with 13 different student athletes.  In the full thesis, which can be read at Deadspin in its entirety with the “subjects” names, Owen gives each partner a raw score out of 10 based on various grading criteria such as the size of their hardware, how attractive they are, how aggressive they were, how creative they were, how entertaining they were, and their athletic ability.

The Duke lacrosse team was acquitted of any charges that were brought against them in the alleged rape case that took place a few years back and the University’s president eventually apologized to the athletes involved .  Still, no one has forgotten the incident and this isn’t the type of publicity the team or any other athletic program at Duke needs.  Turns out it isn’t what Owen wanted either, as she shared with Jezebel on Thursday.

The people that are named in it are the kinds of people that everyone wants to be or be with . I regret it with all my heart. I would never intentionally hurt the people that are mentioned on that.”

Owen’s biggest mistake was making this thing into a PowerPoint and sending it out to a select few people, no matter how much she thought she could trust them.  In this the age of digital media, she was asking for trouble by going digital with such a sensitive piece of literature.  As far as we can see everything was consensual and her so called “subjects” shouldn’t be getting into any kind of legal trouble.  However, they now have to answer unnecessary questions and get ripped apart by the media over something that should have never gone public in the first place.

Aside from all that, what is wrong with this girl?  I know this just came out and we haven’t even heard half the criticism she’s certain to receive, but I guarantee it won’t be as bad as it would have been if a male student had written something like it.  Who goes out and does a bunch of dudes and actually creates a “F**k List?”  Her words, not mine.

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Duke student's 'sex thesis' goes viral.


It’s usually not a good idea to kiss and tell—especially in the Internet age. For two weeks, Duke University has had to deal with the fallout from a recent grad’s graphic chronicle of her sexual exploits with 13 Duke student-athletes. Written as a 42-page Power Point presentation, 22-year-old Karen Owen evaluated the sexual performance of 13 of the most coveted male student-athletes during her years at the school, complete with pictures of the men. Since seven of the men played—or still play—for the Duke lacrosse team, sports website Deadspin decided to print the entire “F--k List,” including the names of the subjects. It later redacted them following complains from Owen. “It makes me ashamed that the Duke name is attached to what she’s done,” said one senior. “And it’s the age-old double standard: people are more critical of what she did because she’s a girl.”

Kristi Gustafson Barlette

Duke graduate creates a sex-rating powerpoint ‘thesis’.

Did you see this story about Duke graduate Karen Owen who created this “thesis,” for lack of a better word, ranking and comparing her college-life, um, conquests with 13 different Duke athletes.

Like any solid PowerPoint presentation, hers included photos, names, graphs and intimate details of each and every man she “encountered” from her sophomore through her senior year.

This wasn’t meant for public consumption, or so she says, but now its gone viral and curious eyes and ears around the world are getting the dish on Owen’s life between the sheets.

Check out the full story here.

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duke sex thesis powerpoint

Duke Student’s Sex-Rating ‘Thesis’ Goes Viral

duke sex thesis powerpoint

Jim R. Bounds/Bloomberg/Getty

What started out as a private joke ended up around the Internet — and hurting a university’s reputation.

Recent Duke graduate Karen Owen, 22, put together a mock “thesis,” comparing and rating her sexual conquests from her sophomore year to her senior year of college. The PowerPoint presentation named names, showed pictures and provided graphic details of each encounter. Owen claims the list was only meant for three friends, but it was forwarded through most of the university before it made Gawker Media blogs Jezebel and Deadspin . (Warning: The details, though humorous and well-written, may not be safe for work.) The Internet went crazy after that.

( More on See how Internet privacy has changed in the Facebook age .)

Most of the men Owen claims to have been with are members of the Duke lacrosse team, which has already seen its share of scandal in recent years. Owen’s PowerPoint hitting the news won’t do much to help her school’s image, but it’s still the hot topic on campus.

Owen spoke to Jezebel about the list, saying, “I regret it with all my heart. I would never intentionally hurt the people that are mentioned on that.” She points out, though, that fraternities often make similar lists and don’t face the same level of scandal. “It’s the age-old double standard,” Duke senior Nicole Queathem told the New York Times . “People are more critical of what she did because she’s a girl.”

( More on NewsFeed: Adult-Video Sharing List Leaked: Are You On It? )

Lists like this were widespread long before the Internet. In 1977, students at MIT produced a similar list, ranking 36 male undergrads. They wanted to “turn the tables” on male objectification, but were put on academic probation instead.

( More on 5 Little-Known Truths About American Sex Lives )

Duke grad Karen Owen's "sex thesis" goes viral

A saucy joke ended up becoming the latest Internet sensation when Duke University alumna Karen Owen published a PowerPoint document outlining three year's worth of sexual activity on campus.

Owen, who graduated from the university this year, pulled together photos of 13 sexual partners, along with detailed information about each intimate tryst -- including bits of dirty dialogue, and physical descriptions and brutally candid evaluations of each man's performance in bed -- and created a mock senior honors thesis, "An education beyond the classroom: excelling in the realm of horizontal academics."

The 42-page PowerPoint document, according to , was meant for eyes of just three of Owen's friends. But those few friends forwarded the inside joke to other friends, and it eventually landed on and other popular websites. From there, a viral Internet sensation was born.

Back at Owen's alma mater, fellow Blue Devils are embarrassed by the 22-year-old alumna's antics and the public attention drawn to the campus, which is all too familiar with sexual scandal after a group of lacrosse players in 2006 were accused of assaulting a stripper. They were later found to be innocent . Many of the 13 men listed in Owen's document played for school's lacrosse team.

"It makes me ashamed that the Duke name is attached to what she's done," Duke senior Nicole Queathem told The New York Times . "And it's the age-old double standard: people are more critical of what she did because she's a girl."

Administrators at Duke have expressed concern over the male students identified in Owen's faux thesis, even though many websites that have published the document have distorted students' photos and blurred names.

"On a personal basis, I'm saddened by the behavior," Duke University Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta told The Chronicle , the university's student-run paper. "Many of the circumstances that are referenced in it continue to make me really concerned about some of the judgments and some of the norms that persist."

Owen's sudden infamy has pushed her into virtual hiding. She's deleted social network accounts, and she's publicly apologized for her lapse of judgment. "I regret it with all my heart," she told . "I would never intentionally hurt the people that are mentioned on that."

Did Owen go to far? Would you send friends privacy-sensitive, personal information without intending for it to spread on the Internet? Leave your comments below.

» The New York Times: Duke Winces as a Private Joke Slips Out of Control » The Chronicle: Sex list draws media to Duke » Karen Owen: Duke student's sex 'powerpoint presentation' goes viral » CBS News: Duke Student Powerpoint: The New Exhibitionism? » Duke Student's Sex-Rating 'Thesis' Goes Viral

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Duke University Sex Thesis – What Do You Think?

Picture of Karen Owen

Picture of Karen Owen

I heard about this story on Cosmo Radio on my drive to buy a new battery for my car yesterday (which not-so-conveniently wouldn’t start just when I needed to head out for some appointments). I usually don’t blog on the weekends, but I simply didn’t want to wait until Monday to talk about this. The story is basically this: Recent Duke University graduate, Karen Owen, wrote a 42-page PowerPoint presentation “thesis” titled, “An Education Beyond the Classroom: Excelling in the Realm of Horizontal Academics,” where she detailed her sexual experiences from her sophomore year to her senior year of college. In the document, Owen ranked 13 men according to their physical attractiveness, athletic ability and sexual talents (with scores for size, talent, creativity, aggressiveness, entertainment and bonus points for other factors). Most of her sexual conquests (which she called “subjects”) were Duke lacrosse players (you’ll remember the infamous Duke lacrosse scandal of 2006).  In the “thesis,” Owen included full names and pictures, mostly athletic shots and photos taken from Facebook, and went into pretty graphic details about each encounter. She even compared the men’s scores via a bar graph. In May, Owen sent her “thesis” to a few of her friends, as a sort of inside joke among women. Well, as these things do, the “thesis” was eventually sent across the entire Duke student body, and has gone viral. Since the end of this past week, the story has been featured on cable news, The Huffington Post , TIME magazine , the Today Show , The New York Times and ABC News , among others, and has become a hot topic on blogs all across the Internet, calling it a “Fuck List.”

Use this link or this link to see the full PowerPoint presentation Owen developed. And seriously, check it out. It’s well-written, and interesting as hell. If you find dating blogs even remotely interesting, this takes it to a whole new level. Probably not suitable for work, however. For the most part, the guys this girl slept with are friggin’ hot – they are the cool guys in high school and college that EVERY girl wanted to be with, the unattainable guys that were often jerks but their looks helped them get away with it. These are the guys girls like me love to hate – and secretly wish they could get.  

Owen talked with media outlet Jezebel , who broke the story, and said, “I regret it with all my heart. I would never intentionally hurt the people that are mentioned on that.” With that statement, Owen has basically gone into hiding, closing down all her social media sites and going dark. There are reports that she has been offered a book deal.

The Duke University newspaper ran an editorial this week about the topic, titled, “ Karen Owen Shatters the Glass Ceiling .” This piece heralds Owen for her efforts on the behalf of feminism, saying, “The way in which her PowerPoint presentation (complete with pictures and sexual analyses of such things as her subjects’ stamina, performance and, of course, “equipment size”) created such a dramatic volte-face of gender norms makes Owen, in my mind, the most average-looking sororstitute feminist since Lucretia Mott and Suzy B.” The editorial goes on to say, “Owen doesn’t come off as some low-rent harlot or like a jealous and bitter girl; she comes off as a funny, actually intelligent lady who likes to show people a good time. And she has nothing to be ashamed about.”

Check out this piece which questions whether Owen is a feminist hero or a cautionary tale of promiscuity. Oh, and just because I think this is pretty interesting, check out this word cloud of the online conversation regarding this story.

There are people on both sides of the aisle. Some think this is awesome – freedom of speech in its truest form, and Owen should be free to boast her sexual exploits in any way she pleases. For years, men have done this very same thing in every locker room across the country. Then, there are others that are calling her a slut, are offended with how openly she detailed her conquests and are deeply concerned for the privacy of the 13 men.

I can see both sides. I’m especially torn because, well, um, look at this blog. I’m not detailing every minute detail of my sexual conquests, but I’m here recapping my dating and relationship experiences with the men in my life. Sure, I use pseudonyms, but my close network of social contacts know each and every person. My blog is connected to my Facebook page. My blog is connected to my Twitter account . My blog is directly connected to my name, and therefore the company for which I work. Most men I date that are not randoms on Plenty of Fish can be easily identified by going through my friend list on Facebook. Or by simply tracking the people with which I spend my time and the social circles I frequent.

And then, there are blogs similar to mine that are anonymous (some even password-protected). These blogs are incredibly salacious, exceptionally interesting to read and often provide the down and dirty details of not just the blogger’s dates, but when they invite their dates upstairs for “coffee.” They might not go as far as attributing a score for every man, but they talk about size, performance and virility … all the things that Owen is talking about. If you are opposed to her “thesis,” are you opposed to those blogs too?

Here’s another question that has arisen in this whole situation: Is there a double standard here? What if a man had published this “thesis?” Would we be all up in arms about male chauvinists and angered by the way men have repressed women sexually for centuries?

So I’m here to ask you all, readers, what do you think? Do you think Owen is a modern-day feminist hero or is she completely out of line? Do you think this is different from the dating blogs that we know and love so well? Is there anything intrinsically wrong with what Owen did, and if so, how does that differ what I’m doing here (and what many of you are doing on your blogs)? Sound off in the comments.

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I saw this story yesterday, and there is only a double standard if one assumes that this behavior would be ok if perpetrated by a male. Our societal norms should condemn this “project”… not because it was done by a woman, but because it was done in the first place. The documentation of her behavior, and the sharing of it afterwards, is degrading to any human being and therefore should be treated as the trash that it is. Our changing societal norms are not for the better, and eventually will come back to haunt us. It was a funny read, but when you factor in the embarrassment that the individuals involved are suffering, they all become victims, of their own poor choices and our shameless lechery.

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You are right, I think our society would frown on this in general. I’m not a fan of how people are frowning upon her promiscuity though – I don’t think that’s a factor at all. The only factor should be the fact that she potentially embarassed these people. But, in all honesty and just to play devil’s advocate, do you really think they are embarassed or harmed? These guys are college athletes. They’ve probably done shitty things to girls in the past. I bet they are just fine…

Promiscuity isn’t something to boast about, nor, necessarily be ashamed of. It’s private, and should remain so. Are they harmed? Uh, ask the guy who was rated a 3.5…LOL As for bad acts committed by the guys… so are you saying this is justice? Put yourself in their shoes… what would you want you former lovers saying about you? (Oh, and with pictures…) Poor judgement on her part for sharing what should have been private. Shame on us for staring at it…

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i wonder what diseases she has? seriously she had to know this would go “public”

I mean, sometimes people are immature and don’t really expect the consequences of their actions. As far as diseases, I think that’s beyond the point – hopefully she was safe. I don’t think the frequency of her sex is the issue here AT ALL. That is not for anyone to judge, I think. She was in college and as long as she was careful and smart about it, I say that’s her perogative.

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Looking at it from the guys point of view…it really brings to light a whole other threat…other that disease, from casual sex.

Good point. This is a reality – with blogs, and facebook/twitter accounts… You have to be careful.

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Virgin Commentary 🙂 seeing I am the first. Its not fair to say all men have been rating their partners and posting online or gossiping. I would disagree with that.That immature behaviour is for lager louts, who need to boost fragile egos. Although the few that have , have given the rest a bad rep.

With the internet the way it is today, this takes it to a whole new level of privacy invasion. Instead of a few people sharing a couple of laughs and giggles you have some serious consequences.

I think she has a right to describe her own experiences as does anyone. One needs to decide how thats done, as the saying goes gentlemen never talk about their ladies. Hopefully these girls will learn to be ladies in time, and see discretion is always best.

Men have not been posting it online (well some do, in blogs for sure), but they have been sharing this info forever with eachother in lockerooms, etc. And, a lot of fraternities have lists of girls, where guys vote on how good they are in bed. It happens, it just hasn’t gone viral like this.

I agree, the pictures are a bit much as well as the names being used. She should have been more respectful. But I don’t think that’s a lady/vs. not a lady discussion. Just in my opinion.

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There’s a number of things flying through my mind when I read this. First I’ll try and think this out from her perspective. Her actions in university – save the documentation, which I’ll get to later – were that of a slew of other such students, the hookups, the partying, whatever. But like so many other people making decisions, even if trying to just pass off a prank, there’s intended consequences, and there’s actual consequences. Happens everywhere. At this point, she obviously can’t turn back, and while’s she’s gone into hiding, I doubt she’s done so without carefully pondering where she wants to go/do next. If she’s worried about her reputation and her economic security (she’s an alum, not a student, right?) as a result of this piece of work, and if she’s getting offers as book deals, she may as well (for the sake of survival, even if controversial!) go for it. On the other hand, if she wants a more “conventional” route in life, she’s going to try and wait it out in hiding to the extent she can.

Now the moral side of things. I think it’s clear as day the common sense here: if it’s something you don’t want your mother/etc to see, don’t document it or post it on the Internet. Obviously she put her blind trust in friends and paid for it. But at the same time, culture and societal values (as Tom above refers to) are not something easily changed overnight, and just like other “questionable” celebrities or reality stars today, they are all doing things to capitalise on their exposure.

Morally it’s not something I’d encourage to try and “benefit” on such a situation, but if (hypothetically speaking) it’s her only way for survival or to parlay a career, who knows.

As for these blogs, I think most people use these outlets not so much to make money or for pranks, but most people I get the impression we’re just here to vent, or to find others like us that can possibly relate to our issues. An impartial, informal opinion – I won’t speak for others, but I started mine partially because there are a lot of issues I wouldn’t dare discuss with most people I knew in real life. As for “disguising” your identity it will depend on your aims, your current career, etc. It’s your responsibility to monitor and control that, and always assume the worst case scenario. In my case, I do not link my blog/twitter to my FB at all, although I do have some closer friends and cousins that do read my blog.

ONE FOOT: I think this is a great comment… the moral issues of this story seem clear – she shouldn’t have documented it in this way. But perhaps it was an honest mistake… should she be smeared on the Internet as a slut for hear sexual endeavors (which to be honest, might seem shocking at first glance but actually are probably close to the experience of many college women)?

I do worry about similar (but obvious less severe) consequences of what we all do, day to day, with our blogs. I guess we just have to be respectful and keep morals top of mind, always.

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My only issue with her is that she included names and photos without permission. For that and that alone she needs to be sued penniless. The only problem being that right now she probably is penniless so the judgment will have to be paid out of her future earnings which are likely to be huge with book and movie deals. She’s not a bad writer in her neo~snark way, but I pity her future boyfriends or husbands if she manages to land any. The girl is cold as ice.

I agree that the names/ photos are one of the biggest concerns here. Not sure if she could pass this off as first ammendment freedom of speech though…

One more thing. In traditional print media, and hopefully in some digital publications it is the norm, there are always editors or another set of eyes to verify if something should run as it is.

In todays situation with many bloggers free to post as they see fit, who is checking facts, making sure certain standards are held to certain journalistic principles. Nobody, bloggers are a law onto themselves , therefore the risks are higher and potential for lawsuits potent.

As a blog is an opinionated piece and not something meant to be factual. Herein lies the problem, do you see any disclaimers on the blogs that you visit, limiting liability. Now another tricky one, could a blogger be held liable for posting an article which triggers a comment that causes offense. If it was the bloggers original article…. could it be.

Would you date a blogger who posted intimate details about your bedroom life online or even on closed circuit with his / her friends? How you looked, or what your most discerning physical features are in a positive or negative way.

I dont think anyone whether it be male or female would want that , its simply not respecting and valuing another person and doesnt matter who does it its still nasty.

Your blog is still innocent and untainted, your writing fresh and honest. I hope you keep your perspective and stay true to you.

Thanks so much. I hope to not cross the line, ever, to hurtful or disrespectful of the people in my life or the people I discuss on this blog. I just think situations like these are a good reminder of what we’re done here – and how powerful it can be. We have a platform, use it wisely.

Thanks for this thoughtful comment. You asked, “Would you date a blogger who posted intimate details about your bedroom life online or even on closed circuit with his / her friends?”

Tough question. I guess I’m going to have to say yes – because I would be a hyprocrite if not. I do that on this blog. I don’t go into too many details about sex, but I do about intimate conversations and experiences. Seems just as bad, if you want to look at it that way. Perhaps I’m just being hard on myself, but I do wonder if what Karen Owen did and what I do are that far apart.

I appreciate your kind words, and I do hope to keep this blog a place where I’m just honest – not purposefully hurtful or snarky, ever.

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In my opinion, this girl can go fuck herself. What she did is nothing like what you are doing….not even remotely. I don’t even know where to begin with this moron.

For those of us who actually know what TRUE feminism is, this is a slap in the face. The problem is that so many idiots think that “feminism” is merely turning the tables on the opposite sex and saying “you go girl!” I’m not sure what is more asinine–a generation of Americans who’ve never had their livelihood significantly impacted by sexism who embrace this as “feminism” or the fact that basically the only reason why this is news is, in essence, contrary to the meaning of feminism. Feminism is about empowerment and equality. Think about it for a second. This is news only because a woman created it. However, it shouldn’t be newsworthy because a woman created it (see: equality). Do you see the irony in something ONLY being notable because a woman created it and then it being improperly aligned with Feminism? That is pretty retarded.

What’s more important is that because of the news media’s compulsion to stay relevant in the age of FB, twitter etc., they will take this and run with it.

Let’s call this what it is. Some girl got wasted, fucked a bunch of dudes and then detailed it. Great, so now I have to explain to my nieces that being a whore is NOT cool, even if you become skilled in wielding Microsoft Office. It was bad enough when I had to explain that being a fucking dumbass is a BAD idea, even if it leads to a 5 million dollar Dancing with the Stars payday.

ALSO, the idea itself isn’t even original. Have you guys forgotten that this what the girl was doing in the movie Mallrats? “Who’s your favorite New Kid…Call me Donnie.” Hello? She was even offered a book deal in that movie.

Oh and about that apology, I would have had much more respect for her if she had just stood by it. Although I do believe that a part of her regrets it, it is ONLY because of how it impacted her life. Are we actually expected to believe that she gives a shit about having hurt a bunch of Duke Lacrosse players? By the way, as soon as she accepts that book deal (and make no mistake, she will), that apology is going to look really genuine. Also, if she is going to rank dudes superficially….I guess I can too. I’ll just say that after she cashes her big payday, she can fix that nose.

PS: WTF is up with those eyebrows?

Just because someone has a high sex drive there is no need to be labeling them a whore. Its a double standard if a guy does it, its deemed ok. When a girl does it she’s a slut.

Her abuse of the trust and the issues of revealing private details are a poor judgement call. And if this were a guy it would be the same poor judgement.

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I’m assuming you were responding to my post. I invite you to re-read it in context. Unless you are suggesting that I tell my nieces that banging a bunch of dudes isn’t cool…unless you have a high sex drive. For redundancy’s sake, there was a context issue that you seem have neglected. There was also a bunch more in my response that you may have missed.

Of course there is a double standard between guys and girls when it comes to promiscuity. That conversation has been done to death. However, this has nothing to do with having a high sex drive. It is completely ridiculous to suggest that Karen’s behavior had anything to do with her sex-drive. If that were the case she would have stopped as soon as she got to that 12.5/10 guy. Contrary to popular belief, you CAN actually have sex with the same person more than once. Instead, she had sex with as many people as she could and detailed the entire process. I fail to see how this equates to her satiating her high sex drive.

Right on, Eagle. I too don’t think her being a whore or not has anything to do with this. If she only wrote about 2 guys in her 4 years of college, I think the concerns are still the same. It has nothing to do with how many men she’s slept with.

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A modern-day feminist hero? Not at all. Equality does not mean being just as crass as the guys. Or that we can be equally void of human emotion as insecure guys can be. At least it doesn’t in the world I want to live in. It makes me ill that feminism has gone so far the wrong way that anyone would ever think that.

Completely out of line? Yes for using real names and pictures. However her level of promiscuity is no one’s business. Many view college as the time to let go of the constraints of society in all facets of life. When you have a society so frightened of sex and experimentation, can you expect anything less?

Remotely close to what you, I or anyone else with a dating blog? No. Unless the details on who they are are included.

We are now in a society where your online presence has a direct connection to your offline life, including getting a job. What she has done hasn’t just completely ruined her future, but the future of every guy on the list.

Claudia: Agreed that she shouldn’t have used real names and pictures. But I agree even more that “her level of promiscuity is no one’s business.” Couldn’t have put it better myself…

I’m not sure, however, that these guy’s futures are ruined. Many organizations still have men in leadership positions, making the hiring decisions. I suspect this will just get a high five ….

Random Internet Guy: Appreciate your thoughtful comment, but I will whole heartedly say that I don’t think her being a whore (and what will we tell our kids, etc.) has NOTHING to do with this. She slept with 13 people in 4 years. Who says that’s a whore? She had sex for pleasure, for no relationships, because she could. Who says that’s a whore? If a man did it, is he a whore? Or is it that she wrote about it, and didn’t succumb to the stereotypes of women to not kiss and tell, to be embarassed if they have casual sex, that makes her a whore? That she proudly proclaimed that she had her way with these men… no regrets, with humor and honesty and almost proud of her efforts? Is that what makes her a whore? I don’t think it’s any of our place to determine if she’s a whore…. but I’m not sure she should have used these men’s names/pictures. That crossed the morality line. But I could give a F about the whore line.

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I don’t know…call me cynical, but I see it as an attention-seeking stunt. I don’t think it was cool to “borrow” pictures of her conquests from their Facebook sites without their knowledge.

Having said all that, I could not stop reading. LOL. But most people stare at car wrecks as they drive by, too.

This thing was friggin interesting as hell, agreed. So we’re part of the problem too… LOL

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Wow… Wow… I agree that she should not have used names and photo’s without permission – but maybe she really didn’t want it passed around? Hard to say. It is kind of like girl talk – when you go out with a guy you tell your girlfriends everything – only this went a lot farther? I’m torn on this one as well. And you are not like her. You never use names and pictures without permission – or go into “size” details (however I’ve never ready any password protected posts?) And I think people would really have to dig to find out whom you are speaking about – and this was just all layed. out. I love your blog – it’s my new favorite. I’m happy we “met” ahha.

I mean, if she only sent it to 3 people, it’s possible she really thought it was just funny and wouldn’t get around. People can’t imagine that their work will go viral. You know? What’s funny is the closest I got to this is a guy that kissed me that was literally the worst kisser I’ve ever had. I wanted to say that in the blog. Seriously terrible kiss. But I didn’t, and said “there was no chemistry.” I lied. I thought it would be the nicer, more karma-happy thing to do. I’m still not sure if I did the right thing, to be honest… And no, I don’t have any password protected posts. Definitely haven’t ventured there – I’m not sure I’m ready (or wanna be ready! Lol).

Thanks for your compliment on my blog. Love yours too 🙂

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What bothered me most about this story was the blatant violation of privacy of ALL involved, including the woman who wrote it. She made a poor judgment call by trusting the wrong people, obviously. But she could have documented all of this online and didn’t, probably because she never intended for this to get in the wrong person’s hands and was not trying to hurt or humiliate anyone. It was a silly project that fell in to the wrong hands. But the adults who run these media/news sites that published this whole document, pictures and all? Despicable hypocrites who contributed to the exposure and humiliation of these people.

The real difference between what Owens did and what we bloggers do is that this woman was 21 or 22 years old and some of us bloggers are in our late twenties, thirties and forties. She’s just a naive, self-absorbed kid. Weren’t we all at 21? There are people in their thirties doing exactly what this woman did in one form or another. We’re supposed to know better, especially when we’re supposedly so well versed in the real of social media and the internet.

A few months ago I sent a guy on Match an email. He replied back only with his phone number and said he preferred to talk on the phone versus exchange emails.

I called him and he explained that he had been burned in the past by a woman who wrote a blog and had published all of his emails and text messages on her website. So now he was cautious about what he put in writing. People are becoming more aware of the possibility that their words could be used for Tweet, FB or Blog fodder.

As a blogger who blogs under their real name and photo, I can understand why some people choose to blog “anonymously.” Writing a blog about dating most definitely can crimp your love life. But what people fail to understand is that nobody is actually anonymous. Not you, not the people you write about.

If you’re going to use your blog to make fun of the people you date (The collective “you” not Catharine personally, as I don’t think she does that) then have the balls to put your name to it. If you’re afraid of family or friends or co-workers reading your words, then that means you know what you’re saying reflects poorly on you.

It’s one thing to discuss your dates. I see nothing wrong with blogging anonymously in a case like that, if your blog is just a creative outlet that you write for yourself. But if you’re going to actively seek an audience and dissect these people you date, critique them, publish their emails and texts and profiles, or other wise use these people as entertaining fodder or for blog hits, then either tell the person you go out with about your blog or put your name to it so your intended target can defend themselves.

I think there’s this idea out there that because “everybody” has a FB or LinkedIn or Match profile that this person is choosing to make themselves public, so they’re fair game.

You know, I liked this comment, especially because it is making me look at my own blog. I’m not sure how far back in the archives you’ve gone, but I have published texts, profiles, emails, etc. Usually for humor (not trying to be hurtful, but it could be perceived that way), but I still did it. I did not say who these people were, but I took advantage of public profiles for comic relief. I refer especially to my Plenty Of Fish blog posts. Anyway, I’m not sure how bad that is. Is it all in good fun (and if you say crazy stuff on your profile you are asking for it), or is it a violation of privacy?

I think it’s such an interesting story you told about the guy from Match… they are onto us! 🙂

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I do think printing emails and texts is a huge violation of privacy. I didn’t used to give it too much thought up until a year or so ago. I’ve published profiles and excerpts from emails as well, although I put a stop to that in the last 9 months or so. I’ve seen so much of that on blogs lately that has made me really uncomfortable and pretty embarrassed that I did it.

I also was upfront with men that I met online and told them what I did for a living. If I wrote a date recap, it was posted to Facebook. So if they were one of my friends, the could see it. They could also check the blog themselves or just Google me. Links to my website are in my signature files in my email. I wouldn’t hide what I did.

I’ve had guys come to my blog and offer their POV. I’ve also had people recognize someone by just a few (what I thought were) innocent details I shared about them. They contacted the guy and told him about my blog. I’ve dated guys that other bloggers in my city have dated. It’s very incestuous, the dating blogger and online dating community. That’s why nobody is actually anonymous.

So far, I’ve been pretty up front with the men I’ve dated and wrote recaps about. Now the randoms I’ve met online though – the really weird profiles, I’ve pulled lines from for humor sake. I don’t think I’ve ever posted a full profile, but you make a good point about even excerpts. Now as far as texts and emails, I’ve only posted those in a positive manner… A sweet text, a funny text, a funny conversation, a well-written Facebook message. But I think I need to consider these things more – not sure what conclusion I’m going to come to exactly, because I see how much of this is somewhat harmless, but I can see there’s a fine line.

And, my blog is completely tied to my name too. Facebook, Twitter, etc. Google me, and I believe you’ll find the blog. So it’s not like I’m hiding anything at all. I’d love to talk with you some time about tips on how you’ve dealt with the lack of anonymity! Need advice… sometimes it’s pretty hard, and I can’t imagine it’s going to get any easier!

I just realized that I left my comment under my WordPress Login. That’s not a working URL.

Correct URL is

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First and foremost, she should not have used real names and photos. If she hadn’t this really would have stayed among her friends and not been a big deal.

However, she is DRUNK in most of the experiences. BLACK OUT drunk! On any number of occasions, her stories could have had some very serious consequences. Did any of these guys really care about her? Nope. So this is in no way empowering for women. She was a c*m dumpster, and the guys knew it.

I wrote about this on my blog the other night, and while I tried to see both sides, I just couldn’t.

Enjoyed your post and reading others on your blog. Will check back on your journey often!

Thanks for stopping by and I’m heading over to read yours too! Sorry for delay in my response – craziest couple of days.

I too am concerned about the fact that she as drunk, sometimes black out drunk, for these experiences. And while I see what you are saying (but I’m not sure I would call her a c*m dumpster, because I don’t find it fair, because I’m not sure we’d apply a similar name to a man who did this), I also think it’s concerning that these men has sex with her when she was black out drunk. That road goes both ways… but it seems like people aren’t really acknowledging that.

I think her doing this, and being open and fine with it, is somewhat empowering to women because it says that we can own our sexuality and take what we want (when we want it) and we don’t have to be depressed if we have a one night stand. I don’t think her publishing of the facts in the way that she did (real names/pics) is empowering at all. But I can’t lie, I see some empowerment here… I mean, look at the convesation it’s generated at least?

I echo what Elissa said. It really disturbs me that so many feminists sites were glossing over the fact that this woman was intoxicated during many of these experiences.

This woman isn’t a feminist hero, nor is she a “slut.” She’s a young girl with poor judgment (and really poor taste in girl friends) who has grown up in a culture where chronic oversharing is rampant.

I too am concerned about the intoxication…see above response. But our culture of “chronic oversharing,” what do you think that says about our blogs? Should we put a halt to the chronic oversharing? I have some people in my life who think it’s absolutely NUTS what I do on this blog. Just a thought…

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I saw this on the TODAY show last week and I couldn’t get to my laptop fast enough. Wow! It was very interesting reading to say the least. I thought it was funny at first but around subject 5, I started to feel a little sick. I kept thinking, I hope her parents don’t read this. Wow. I support her right to do her ‘research’ and write about it too but I think maybe she crossed the line. The drinking (and blacking out!) made me almost feel sorry for her. I don’t know if this was research or a cry for help. Also, she should have shown a bit more discretion. I think we all would have gotten the point without some of the um, descriptions. Maybe that’s the difference between my Big 10 education and Ivy League. KIDDING! -SG

I hear you on the “research or a cry for help.” Part of me really wants to believe she is OK with her actions, because otherwise this becomes sad on whole other level.

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Ha! To “Random Internet Guy,” I still say, YOU GO GIRL! This has nothing to do with feminism, it’s about our right as human to do whatever the fuck we want. The reason this story is so popular is because it is a woman, fucking like a man—having meaningless, fun, sex…and with hot guys, no doubt.

Men have been doing this for years and no one has said a damn thing about it, which I’m fine with.

I wish she didn’t regret it, we put too much pressure on numbers. If she wanted to hook up with these guys, then good for her. Work it, sister.

I too, am bothered that she now regrets it. I hope she regrets it being published, not that she did it. Because halfway through doing it, if she didn’t want to do it anymore, she should have stopped. Otherwise, I find her ownership of her sexuality quite empowering.

“The reason this story is so popular is because it is a woman, fucking like a man—having meaningless, fun, sex…and with hot guys, no doubt. Men have been doing this for years and no one has said a damn thing about it, which I’m fine with. ”

Okay. But men don’t have sex “like men.” They just have sex. Women are the ones who make this sweeping generalization that “all” men take pride in engaging in and bragging about casual sex. Men as a gender have NOT been doing this for years. And come on, I think it’s fair to say that some women can put a man to shame when it comes to the way we discuss our sexual exploits with girlfriends. We can be downright shameless in those situations.

I’m sorry, but other than the PUA guys out there, you don’t see a lot of male dating bloggers blogging about the one night stand they had the night before. And in several cases of that, the man is completely objectified and portrayed as some chumpish plot device.

You don’t hear men saying they deserve to be able to be “bitchy like women.” It’s blatant gender stereotyping. Not only that, but I don’t see what’s so great about trying to adopt unattractive characteristics displayed by a few members of the opposite sex.

Great comment. I haven’t really checked out male dating bloggers versus women dating bloggers (seems there are more women, right?) so I can’t speak to differences in the way they write about sexual experiences. But I think that would make for an interesting study!

Good point on the “bitchy like women.” If I heard that from a guy, I’d be pissed…

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Y’know, feminism and morality regardless, I had a great time reading about her exploits! The dudes she slept with sound at points hilarious and awesome and crazy, just like dudes everywhere. If all of us tallied up our college exploits like this, I’m sure some would look much worse and some wouldn’t be worth reading, just like everything. I don’t think it’s her fault that her friend shared this, and I don’t think she did anything wrong at any point.

I know, I did too! I thought they were so interesting. And I don’t think it was like a train wreck, it was more like a woman who knew what she wanted, she got it, and for the most part, had no regrets! It is refreshing, in some ways, to see that.

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I admire the chick, men have been doing this shit for AGES, bout time a female did the same. Even if some of the guys didn’t deserve it. This is what happens when you live that kind of lifestyle. Maybe if the guys could keep it in their pants for a more respectable girl, this wouldn’t happen to them? Everyone is mad at and blames the girls, but the guys are certainly as promiscuous. If that’s how you roll… it’s a risk you take.

LOVE This…. everyone who is calling her a whore, I’m like, what about these guys who slept with her on the first date (or usually, no date at all)? And you know they were all talking to each other and they all knew she got around. So if we’re calling anyone whores, we should include the men here… not just her for documenting it.

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I think that everything was great but putting the pictures and names in may have been too far. I think other than that – it’s a great study! I used to have a very similar blog to yours when I was single and dating and I did pretty close to what she did here… but I remained very anonymous. But it was still good stuff!!

Agreed – names/pics too far. The rest, wow, so interesting. Sometimes I wish I’d stayed anonymous… I could put more interesting stuff on here :). Thanks for your comment!

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Two Thoughts:

1. I’d remind the people calling her a feminist hero, that she didn’t intend on distributing this report to other people. She put it together and sent it to a few friends. Yes, it ended up getting reported on a national level, but I’d say for her to be a hero or even a confirmed feminist, she’d have to stand beside what she wrote in front of everyone and defend herself. She’s keeping quiet and not standing up and defending what she did, so I’d argue how much of a great feminist step this is (not that I’m sure a girl reviewing drunken sexual escapades is a “win” for feminism anyway).

I’m not sure what I think about all this, but think her actions after it happened should be considered.

2. From what I’ve learned, freedom of speech is freedom of speech until it infringes on the rights of another person. So, I’d think if any of these guys could prove that what she wrote has damaged their reputations (especially since they’d be defined as private individuals by the law), they could have a lawsuit on their hands. Not sure if they’d win, but I’d think they’d have a case. Especially since they could argue some of what she said was opinion, not fact.

In any case, I really doubt she thought what she wrote would get this big. (Again, she’s kind of in hiding, which supports this idea). Remember, she’s in that early 20’s, “I’m invincible!” stage of life. She probably just wasn’t about what can happen when people start forwarding.

I agree… If I were to make the leap that she was a feminist hero, I’d need her to show some other feminist qualities and stand by her actions on principle. I think the owning of your own sexuality and not feeling confined to keep your number low because that’s what society has told you is right for women to do – that is a move forward for feminism. I’m not sure that’s anything she intended, however, and you don’t have to disrespect someone’s privacy to own your own sexuality.

I don’t know if I agree so much with the age argument … Early 20s, yeah you make stupid decisions. Maybe I’ve just been too mature for my age, because I can’t imagine making this kind of mistake (if she considers it a mistake). You know? I’m now mid 20s, but some of the stuff I hear people blame on youth I would NEVER consider doing. But maybe that’s just me – super cautious.

Good point! I probably wouldn’t have done anything like that at 21 either, but I guess I’m just saying I think it’s easier for younger people to do stuff like this without thinking about consequences. Whatever age it is, it’s stupid to send something like that out over email if you don’t want more than the people you intended to see it.

I agree with MM’s points. OK, so maybe I was a bit harsh in calling her a “c– dumpster” last week (sorry for the fowl language! Our moms read our blogs, so I hope I didn’t offend your mom or any of your other readers). I am still having a hard time seeing her as a feminist hero. Having sex “like a man” does not make one a feminist, nor does being incredibly careless and hurting other people. I see this as embarrassing, not empowering. But, that’s just me, and I appreciate that she provided for such an interesting discussion.

It appears that her 15 minutes of fame are over, and I’m sure there’s a Lindsay Lohan story that is now more important than this. Thanks for the debate, Catherine!!

No worries – I understand where you were coming from. Yeah, it does seem that her 15 minutes of fame are over, so what’s next? I’m sooo over Lindsay Lohan 🙂

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Here’s my take. Picture yourself as a single guy. *Waiting, tapping foot……*. Alright. Now, would you date this girl? She pretty much has shot herself in the foot relationship wise. Anybody who would approach her would have to deal with the fear that she could always turn them into a story. As much as both sides want to turn her into the face of feminism or promiscuity, this is her life.

I hear your point on this – but here’s what I’d ask back. Do you think guys will want to date me with my blog? I bet many would be afraid of me turning them into a story! That’s why this story made me think so much, it makes me wonder the implications for bloggers similiar to me that chronicle so much of our personal lives on the Internet.

I think that you don’t really put down guys on here. You discuss your feelings openly and with a specific purpose. Sure you’d scare certain guys away but you aren’t going to scare every guy away. The secure man is able to handle being written about in the forum and style that you use. You also hide the identity of the people you write about so as to protect them. This woman did not do any of these things, instead she took something entirely private and put that out there. She pretty much violated those men and I can’t believe that some intelligent people are even attempting to make the argument that these were extenuating circumstances.

Thanks for your thoughts on the difference between her “thesis” and my blog. My intention is exactly as you’ve described. So I’m glad that is being communicated. I have no intention of outing a guy in this forum or embarassing him. I too, think there will be some guys that will be scared away. But that isn’t the kind of guy I want to be with anyway!

By the way, is this what feminists really want? Really? I thought they were better than that. Feminists really need to be careful that they don’t become caricatures of bad male behavior. In other words, you don’t want your argument for any action to be; “well guys do it too”. In my opinion, the best thing about women is that they are not men. They have all these wonderful qualities that have been undervalued for so many years. Now, we’re starting to realize just how good those traits are. They should be celebrated.

This is just a very wordy way of saying; the men who discuss their sexual exploits openly in the “locker room” are usually pigs or jerks. A feminist hero should be able to rise above that sort of behavior.

Good point – becoming “caricatures of bad male behavior” is certainly not a triumph of feminism. Loved your comment… I agree, it seems to me there are many great qualities women have that are only now starting to be recognized by larger society. I hope it continues.

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there is classy (your blog) and the not-so-classy (subject.

Brooke: Thank you 🙂

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2010 Duke University faux sex thesis controversy

Related topics, broader ( 1 ), papers overview.

figure 1

table 1

Duke F*** List


Karen F. Owen grew up in Branford, Connecticut, and graduated from high school in 2006. As a college student at Duke, Owen studied History and had a strong interest in sports. [1] In 2010, Owen released her "faux sex thesis" in the form of a comical PowerPoint document shortly after her graduation. She faced significant backlash from members of the Duke community where her PowerPoint was leaked. Because of this, Owen promptly deleted all of her social media accounts. She was contacted by producers and writers about creating documentaries and books about her, but she declined these opportunities. Owen made a point to avoid public appearances. [2] Owen never faced criminal charges. [3] Today, Karen Owen's whereabouts are unknown, but it does seem as though she has left social media platforms most likely to avoid harassment or hate.

Creation and Spread

The F*** List supposedly came about when one of Owen's many partners asked her where he ranked among her other sexual encounters. [4] The "thesis" was titled ‘An education beyond the classroom: excelling in the realm of horizontal education’ and was originally emailed to three of her friends. [5] Evidently, one of which leaked the list and it quickly spread across campus. The list went viral and was picked up by multiple news outlets such as Jezebel and Deadspin . These sites released the full version of the document without censoring any personal information. The names and many sexual attributes of Owen's previous partners had been given out to these media outlets and made visible to the many people without consent or knowledge from Owen or any of her partner's named in the PowerPoint.


duke sex thesis powerpoint

The Aftermath

When Owen wrote the document, she intended to only share with her group of friends as it was supposed to be a private joke. Unfortunately, through multiple postings across social media sites, the document spread faster than unexpected. Within days of the list going viral, she responded by completely erasing her presence on social media with the exception of one private Facebook profile. [3]

Interestingly, most of the men she exposed lacked a public online presence. Owen spoke to Jezebel, stating, “I regret it with all my heart. I would never intentionally hurt the people that are mentioned on that.” Many saw her as a potential female counterpart to Tucker Max , who she explicitly mentioned in her thesis; however, Owen expressed a strong desire to not be associated with such vulgar content.

Several people identified problematic aspects of college such as the partying and hookup culture in which Owen's document highlighted. [1] Not only did people see this as Owen's problem, but they also took it out on Duke. GQ magazine, following the F*** List scandal, crowned Duke America's second most "douchy" school. [4] This scandal had not only tarnished Karen Owen's reputation but also reflected poorly on Duke University as a whole. Duke University has found itself in the middle of several scandals in addition to the F*** List, including the Duke lacrosse case and issues with research fraud .

duke sex thesis powerpoint

A large concern was raised for the future and public reputation of the thirteen men named in the list by Owen. Many people called for the men to sue Owen because their privacy had been compromised. The manner in which the victims' lives were affected varied person by person. There were unconfirmed rumors that one of the victims had a job offer from Goldman Sachs rescinded as a result of the presentation leak. None of the mentioned men did formally sue Karen Owen, for unknown reasons.

To protect their privacy, their connections to the Duke F*** List have been largely redacted. It is unclear what Owen's career status is currently.

Online Reaction

Online, many people began to attack Owen for her actions and lack of real accountability once the dust had settled. [6] Tucker Max spoke out and defended her actions, claiming that people accessed her diary and her personal information was compromised. [7] Allegedly, Owen had no intention of showing this thesis to anyone outside of her friend group. One of Owen's friends posted the thesis without her knowledge or permission.

Ethical Concerns

While Owen originally made an oversight, the news sites that published the list failed to protect the anonymity of the men involved. Kathleen Wallace states in Online Anonymity that, “computer-mediated or online communication may encourage the impression that one is anonymous”. [8] While this communication of information started in person, the men didn't expect that this information would surface online or beyond the direct interaction with Owen. They acted in a manner that was accepted by all immediate parties involved, not with the judgment and opinions of those who ended up being privy to their actions as a result of the list being posted online. But when Jezebel and Deadspin posted the list without blacking out any of the names, these media sites compromised the anonymity of these men and Owen herself. While the original document listed out the names, it was not intended to be spread to mainstream media and the people involved have a right to remain anonymous if desired. Deadspin has since updated the article to exclude names. [9] However, once it was uploaded the full names, pictures, education, and extracurricular activities of all the men were instantly spread across the web, not to mention the details of sexting, dirty talk, and unconventional sexual activities.

Richard Mason states in Four Ethical Issues of the Information Age that, “Collections of information reveal intimate details about a person and can thereby deprive the person of the opportunity to form certain professional and personal relationships.” [10] This case violated the males’ privacy, as the stories disclosed intimate details about their sex lives that could affect future relationships. Additionally, according to David Shoemaker's definition of control theory, one has informational privacy when control is gained over access to and presentation of information about one’s self-identity. The protection of one's self-identity is paramount because any breach to one's self-identity undermines one's autonomy and decision over what is publicly presented about themselves. The concept of having control over what is posted about oneself online is a fairly new and debated topic, but in this case and according to Shoemaker, the autonomy of Owen as well as the 13 athletes was compromised as a result of the list's spread over the internet. [11] . According to the control theory, although Owen chose to reveal intimate details about herself, Owen's privacy was violated by the friend who forwarded the list as well as anyone else who shared the list without Owen's consent. This is because her original intention was to give access to the information only to three specific individuals. When the list went viral, media outlets had control of the distribution of Owen's list, rather than Owen herself.

Diffusion of Responsibility

The scandal additionally raises the issue of responsibility for privacy violations. According to Luciano Floridi's Information Ethics , responsibility is often an indicator of morality [12] . As humans can be considered morally responsible for their actions, it is important to consider the actions of each person who contributed to the distribution of the list. Is the onus of responsibility on the person who originally shared a piece of information? Once a piece of information has been shared, have those who continue to share the formally private information also responsible and to what degree are they responsible? For example, is professor Paul Conway a perpetrator of the privacy violation, by sharing details of the list in a SI410 lecture? [13] Professor Conway shared substantial portions of the list with the class, including the full list of names and a narrative of one of the encounters. Likewise, does the existence of this article represent a violation of Karen Owen's and the subjects of the list's privacy?

Digital Identity

The Internet gives the individual user the unique ability to speak to more people and, at the same time, alter one’s online identity. [14] If you searched Karen Owen on the internet today, nine years later, all of the results are regarding the Duke scandal. Luciano Floridi provides the statement that new ICTs in our time have evolved the way we interact with and control our own personal data [15] . Karen Owen, as this PowerPoint became viral, saw ICTs cause her to completely lose control of her digital identity, with this story of her PowerPoint being the central descriptor of who she was. This is in direct contrast to a more tailored form of identity production technologies, like social media, in which a person is in complete control of what is included and excluded on his own profile. Thus, one can see that the viral nature of the internet can have irreparable forces on one’s digital identity.

However, this idea is contrasted with the results returned for the men involved in the PowerPoint. If one were to search for the men included in the presentation, one would find very traditional information about them and almost no link to the Duke F*** List. Ben Grisz is a Senior Analytics Consultant at IBM, Zach Howell is a banker, and Jake Lemmerman is an analyst at Taco Bell. The Duke scandal does not come up in their Google searches, while it is the sole search result for Karen Owen and now defines her entire digital identity. The internet holds Karen Owen completely accountable, while the men are unaffected in the long run (aside from psychological embarrassment while the scandal was still fresh news). There is much public debate regarding this double standard and questions are raised as to whether or not this situation would be different if a male were the author instead of a female. Though it has been made clear that Owen never intended for this list to spread to anyone besides the three people she sent it to, she still received the most backlash of any party involved. While the men have gone on to become Major League Baseball players or businessmen, Owen's name is tarnished. She has become an "example of everything wrong with college party culture." [1]

As a society, we must now examine how the internet is able to influence one’s reputation and digital identity, and especially in this case how it selectively chose who is affected and who is not. Luciano Floridi also raises the question of the right to be forgotten , which is that if someone should be able to have their history and data removed from public knowledge. For someone like Karen Owen, she will never be able to fully remove the stories and publications regarding this powerpoint, and cannot recreate a new digital identity or destroy her existing one. Currently, all information surrounding Karen Owen herself is from or about her list. Even simple google searches of her name result in information about her list and nothing about her life before or after her list. Due to this one event, her online identity has been defined by this list that she made. Altering this identity or creating a new one after this event is extremely difficult and improbable, as the height of her popularity and online presence was when this list was released. As ICTs and the internet continue to grow in scale and popularity, this question of whether people have the choice of keeping their data in the public infosphere must be answered. These ideas can ultimately be linked back to an import statement from Jeffery Tobin, “Digitization and cheap online storage make it easier to remember than to forget, shifting out ‘behavioral default’” [16] .

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Duke University Graduate Karen Owen Pens Sex Life Thesis

Duke graduate Karen Owen saw her so-called thesis on sex go viral.

Oct. 8, 2010 — -- If Internet users were grading Duke University graduate Karen Owen's thesis on her active sex life, she'd likely get an 'A' for attention to detail.

Owen has become a much-discussed topic on blogs, Web sites and even morning shows after her so-called thesis, chronicling her sexual escapades during her undergraduate years at Duke, went public.

The 42-page PowerPoint presentation titled, "An Education Beyond the Classroom: Excelling in the Realm of Horizontal Academics," ranked 13 men Owen was sexually involved with during college, according to their physical attractiveness, athletic ability and talent -- in the bedroom.

The thesis was reportedly e-mailed by Owen to only a few of her close friends. But after one of those friends forwarded the document, and then that recipient did the same, the document soon went viral, first appearing on the blog

Now, Owen is an Internet legacy for her description of picking up student athletes at Durham, N.C., bars, and what happened behind closed doors.

According to the PowerPoint that was obtained by in full, Owen gave bonus points to sexual partners who had an "Australian accent and/or professional surfing skills." Points were deducted for rudeness, she wrote.

Owen wrote that her project was spurred, after one of the men included in her project, texted her to ask how "he ranked on her f**k list." What followed was a detailed list of everything from memorable moments to the pros and cons of each of her conquests.

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Sex list rating female university student's lovers becomes internet sensation

By Daily Mail Reporter Updated: 12:49 EST, 8 October 2010

View comments

A student has been left devastated after an elaborate sex list she created ranking university men she had slept with became an internet sensation.

Karen Owen made the 'unofficial senior thesis' on her sex life with athletes at Duke University in North Carolina and originally emailed it to three of her friends.

But the project spread to the university's entire 14,000 student body and from there on to websites across the globe.

Viral sensation: Karen Owen, pictured left with a friend, created a PowerPoint 'thesis' rating 13 men she had slept with at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina

Viral sensation: Karen Owen, pictured left with a friend, created a PowerPoint 'thesis' rating 13 men she had slept with at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina

In the list, written in the form of a 42-slide PowerPoint presentation, Miss Owen rates 13 of the men she slept with - mainly from the university lacrosse team - out of 10 and created a bar graph charting their sexual prowess.

The project leaves little to the imagination and describes her sexual encounters in the university library during finals week, showers, on a balcony, in cars and while drunk.

In one of the entries, she said: 'In my blackout state, still managed to crawl into bed with a Duke athlete.'

In another, in which she rates a tennis player, she said: 'He was terrible, did not even bother to kiss me more than a few seconds and finished in about five minutes, after which he simply walked out of the room and did not return.'

Miss Owen rates all 13 men according to eight categories: physical attractiveness, size, talent, creativity, aggressiveness, entertainment, athletic ability and a bonus factor including whether they have an accent.

The top ranked man scored 10.25 out of 10, while the worst got just one.

Racy: Miss Owen's official f*** list, which rated 13 athletes at Duke University for their sexual prowess

Racy: Miss Owen's official f*** list, which rated 13 athletes at Duke University for their sexual prowess

During the project, she appears to have slept with several members of the university lacrosse team, as well as baseball players.

Many of the comments are derogatory, but she also has special praise for some of her conquests.

Some of the excerpts include: 'Needless to say, this was my first introduction into the glorious, alpha-male dominated world of Duke Lacross hookups.

'I was actually rendered speechless. After a freshman year of frat-star sizing, I wasn't even really sure what to do with the situation at hand.

'His body was, in fact, even more beautiful than I could possibly have imagined.

'I would marry this kid, no joke. Did I mention that he had an Australian accent yet?'

In another section, she said: 'Memorable moments: Hooking up in *********'s car, after I had hooked up with his teammate.

'Cons: Again, wishing that he didn't immediately fall asleep and lasted a little longer.

She also talks about people walking in on her while having sex with young student and making the 'walk of shame' back to her room the following morning.

But her more critical comments have caused acute embarrassment for her former lovers.

Some of the comments include: 'He does not have all that exciting of a personality. It was over too quickly.

'Have you ever opened up a beautifully wrapped present on Christmas morning?

'Did you carefully peel back the layers of tissue paper and eagerly shake out its contents, excited beyond belief with the anticipation of seeing your dream gift?

'And then did you ever feel your smile plummet to the floor, and had to force ever fibre of your being to appear excited?'

Miss Owen called her presentation 'An education beyond the classroom: Excelling in the realm of horizontal academics' and also includes intimate details of her lovers.

In the introduction, she wrote: 'Senior year and college in general often bring about certain situations that result in the seeking of so-called "sex".

'Until now, no studies have succeeded in developing a methodology for quantifying and ranking these so-called horizontal academics.

'In this study, we used data from four years at Duke University to create evaluation criteria for such encounters and applied these criteria to evaluated subjects.'

She added: 'I sincerely thanks Shooters, He's Not Here, my friends, and alcohol in general, without whose help and support my task would have been greatly impeded.'

Most of her subjects were 'acquired' at a bar known as Shooters and Miss Owen mentions often seeing them again in the same bar weeks after their liaisons.

The list has since been taken down from internet sites and Miss Owen has deleted her profiles from social networking sites.

Speaking after it was made public, she told The News Of Today: 'I regret it with all my heart. I would never intentionally hurt the people that are mentioned on that.'

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Duke Student Powerpoint: Karen Owen Describes Sexual Partners

NewsOne Staff

Posted October 8, 2010

A Duke student’s risque PowerPoint has firmly implanted itself in the annals of legendary internet stories for generations to come.

Karen F. Owen, a 2010 Duke grad, composed an in-depth, thesis-like document titled “An Education Beyond The Classroom: Excelling In The Realm Of Horizontal Academics,” in May. In the report, she describes the men she’s slept with in near-scientific detail and even provides charts ranking their sexual prowess. She sent the show to a few friends after she wrote it and, from there, it went into a forward frenzy, ending up on fraternity listservs and making its way to the media.

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Karen Owen's Duke Powerpoint: Horizontal Academics Goes Viral

Karen Owen's now infamous PowerPoint "thesis" detailing the thirteen men she had relations with while an undergraduate student at Duke University has quickly become a social media cautionary tale.

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duke sex thesis powerpoint

Duke Student PowerPoint “Sex List” Coverage MISSING the point

With all the recent news and media coverage discussing the Duke student’s PowerPoint “Sex List” (what she titled a Thesis), almost all of the discussion is missing one important point:

A RAPE appears to be described in her PowerPoint presentation.

One of the sexual encounters she writes about is when she is “blacked out.” Because she has no memory, she could have been passed out or blacked out. Either way, she was incapable of giving consent to sexual activity. She is almost positive they had sex based on the her body (including the many bruises she found from what she assumes was very “aggressive” sex).

As you hear people talking about this disturbing PowerPoint presentation (and yes it is concerning on MANY levels), engage people on this point and see how they react. Ask individuals, “Why do you think no one is talking about this rape?”

If you read the PowerPoint presentation, you will notice MANY of the encounters appear to be alcohol facilitated.

Why do you think no one is talking about at least one potential sexual assault in this PowerPoint presentation? Do you think people have no compassion for her because she treated sex like a season of “American Idol” (scoring the contestants in various categories)? She is NOT the first. She is simply the first FEMALE to gain public attention from doing so.

As Wendy Murphy has pointed out, the former website JuicyCampus had many, many examples of males doing exactly what the female at Duke was doing. At the time of JuicyCampus, many in society DID NOT seem to feel the women being “scored” or “rated” by the males breached legal privacy rights. When males were doing it, many people defended the behavior as “freedom of speech.” Personally, I find BOTH CASES to be wrong (JuicyCampus AND the current Duke student’s PowerPoint). FYI: From what I’ve been told, JuicyCampus was shut down due to privacy concerns.

Remember to discuss the sexual assault described in the PowerPoint presentation. Share your thoughts in the COMMENTS section below.

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Mike Domitrz, CSP, CPAE The Center for Respect, Inc. P.O. Box 269 Mukwonago, WI 53149-0269 800-329-9390 [email protected]

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Duke Winces as a Private Joke Slips Out of Control

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By Katharine Q. Seelye and Liz Robbins

DURHAM, N.C. — For nearly two weeks, many here on the Duke University campus had been aware of a certain senior “thesis” that a recent graduate wrote, apparently as a private joke, about her sexual exploits with 13 student-athletes.

Then the Internet seized on it. The thesis, written as a 42-page Power Point presentation, went viral. And students here again found their school in the middle of a sex-related scandal and annoyed at the power of the murky, borderless world of the Internet to wreak havoc and tarnish images.

“It makes me ashamed that the Duke name is attached to what she’s done,” Nicole Queathem, 22, a senior from St. Louis, said as she sat in the student union. “And it’s the age-old double standard: people are more critical of what she did because she’s a girl.”

The woman in question, Karen Owen, 22, who graduated this year from Duke, evaluated what she said were her sexual liaisons with 13 student-athletes during her years at the school, and she prepared a slide presentation, complete with pictures of her subjects and graphs ranking their performance.

She forwarded this mock thesis in “horizontal academics” to a few friends, who forwarded it to their friends. After percolating within the Duke community for nearly a week, with e-mails reaching alumni overseas and message boards buzzing, the report was published online by two related Web sites, Jezebel and Deadspin . From there, it exploded onto the blogosphere, where as of Thursday it was still being shared via Twitter with the frenzied speed of the Indianapolis 500.

The fake thesis made its splash just as concern was raised anew about the power of the Internet to invade privacy and, sometimes, destroy lives. Last month, at Rutgers University, a student surreptitiously recorded his male roommate’s encounter with another man; days later, the roommate killed himself, unleashing a national fury about cyberbullying.

Lucas Zidella, a German student at Duke, said he was amazed at the willingness of Americans to publish very personal details about themselves online.

“All the world’s a stage in the Internet age,” said Lee Rainie, the director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project. “This is just the latest of a long list of examples of how things that are often meant for small, private audiences have innumerable opportunities to become public events, because once they have left the creators’ screen, they can be shared, forwarded and posted.”

Ms. Owen did not respond to repeated calls to explain what happened. A man who said he was her father answered the phone in Connecticut and said that his daughter did not want to comment.

On campus, students were abashed, if not a bit fatigued by the notoriety.

Just four years ago, the Duke men’s lacrosse team was embroiled in scandal when a woman falsely accused three Blue Devils players of having raped her at a party where she was to perform as a stripper. One year later, the charges against the players were dropped and the prosecutor in the case, Michael B. Nifong, was disbarred.

Seven of the 13 athletes Ms. Owen wrote about were — or still are — on the lacrosse team. This incident has angered many of those who are already sensitive to their image, according to students and alumni who know them. The lacrosse players contacted would not comment.

On campus, other students had plenty to say.

Kishan Shah, 18, a pre-med student from Carmel, Ind., said the university should not revoke Ms. Owen’s degree, but “they should let her know that she has disgraced the school.”

Mike Lefevre, a 21-year-old senior and the president of the student body, said that people were not sure whom to be more concerned about. “Should we be more worried about the young woman’s privacy or worry about the individuals who were named?” he said. “It’s not so clear to us who was the victim, and who we should reach out to.”

Michael Schoenfeld, Duke’s vice president for public affairs and government relations, said that the education of students about their online presence was continuing, and that it was part of the orientation process for student athletes. “One wonders in the Duke situation if the individuals were not athletes, would it have attracted as much attention?” Mr. Schoenfeld said.

It was precisely because the 13 “subjects” in Ms. Owen’s report were athletes that Deadspin decided at first to publish the report with the names. But later it did black them out. A. J. Daulerio, Deadspin’s editor, explained in an e-mail: “We are a sports site and running the names seemed pertinent to the story. Plus, it had been forwarded so many times and shown up on so many message boards that it seemed silly not to run them.

“Then I had a change of heart.”

Jezebel, a Web site oriented to women, published the list as well. It also published queries from an editor at HarperCollins, meant to be a private e-mail, about contacting Ms. Owen, possibly for a book. Deadspin published queries it got from an agent at William Morris and a movie producer.

In 1977, two women at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published a similar “research,” rating the sexual methodology of 36 male undergraduates.

That report appeared in an alternative campus newspaper under the title “Consumer Guide to M.I.T. Men.” The intent was to “turn the tables” on men and show how it feels for women to be objectified. Instead, the two women were put on probation with a notation on their academic record for 10 months.

Information, of course, has warped to a new dimension since then.

Lukas Zidella, 25, an exchange student from Berlin, said he was amazed by Americans who seem not to think twice about publishing details of their personal lives online.

 “We were shocked by the disregard for the private sphere,” Mr. Zidella said.

Having grown up in the Internet age, students said they were well aware of the dangers.

“Everyone knows how the Internet works,” Ms. Queathem said as she closed her laptop in the student union. “I’ve always been worried about what I put on Facebook. I’m very conscious of future employers looking at it. It’s easy to forget, but important to remember.”

More From Forbes

The privacy landmine that is duke graduate karen owen's 'senior thesis'.

Duke's reputation takes a hit. Again.

My alma mater has a habit of getting into the news, especially for stories that involve Duke athletes and sex. The latest story is jaw-dropping even for the Blue Devils.

Karen Owen, a 2010 graduate, kept detailed notes on her sexual adventures with 13 members of Duke's lacrosse, baseball and tennis teams over the last four years.  She then put those notes, along with the athletes' names and photos into a PowerPoint presentation, that concludes with a ranking of the 13 on what she calls her "F*** list." (Congratulations, I suppose, to this guy for topping the list.)

According to Jezebel , Owen sent the "unofficial senior thesis" titled "An education beyond the classroom: excelling in the realm of horizontal academics" to three friends and did not intend for it to go further than that. But one of those friends forwarded it on and it went viral, going out on listservs and eventually winding up on Gawker sites, Jezebel (for women) and Deadspin (for sports addicts).

Interestingly, Jezebel redacted the names of all those involved and blurred out the athletes' faces. Deadspin , on the other hand, did not.

When something like this goes viral, it's hard to keep people's identities under wraps. Mainstream blogs often deliberate on whether to reveal people's identities at the risk of being sued for defamation and invasion of privacy. It's strange that the bloggers at Gawker came to two different conclusions on how to handle it. ( Update : 24 hours and 300,000 page views later, Deadspin went back and redacted those names .)

I'll leave you to check out the PowerPoint at Gawker if you're interested in seeing what I am Charlotte Simmons could have been if Charlotte Simmons was a hot, sexually-aggressive sorority girl. Meanwhile, here's some advice for those involved...

When Owen realized that this list was going to go viral, she deleted all of her social network profiles, reports Irin Carmon at Jezebel. That's unwise. Now the stories on her "senior thesis" are going to take over the Google search result hits on her name. If this ever happens to you, it's best to keep your LinkedIn profile and Facebook page up, just make sure to lock down the privacy settings so that nosy journalists like me can't come looking.

Thanks to the friend that forwarded this on, Owen will never be able to escape this incident (unless she changes her name), so she may as well embrace it. The text in her PowerPoint attests to her writing abilities -- a book deal could certainly be in her future, or at least a part-time gig as a sex columnist.

There's no going back now, but maybe Owen should have written out her thesis with pen on real paper, or printed out just one copy that she shared with her friends in person. By putting it in an electronic format and sending it out by email, she practically invited it to go viral.

(If you just must keep track of your sexy times electronically and share it with your friends by email, you may want to look into the James-Bond-self-destruct-upon-reading mechanism for documents that companies like TigerText are working on. And it's always kind not to include your partners' real names -- especially when they're unaware they're being included in your sexual memoirs.)

What about the male athletes whose names, photos, and tales of sexual prowess (or lack thereof) are now tabloid fodder? I suspect there are going to be invasion of privacy lawsuits in the near future; I imagine their lawyers are already working hard to get Gawker to take the PowerPoints down.

The good news for them is that Google doesn't appear to be picking up their names from the PowerPoint because the slides are uploaded as photo files. Their Google results are safe for now. Their offline reputations -- especially those at the bottom of the rankings -- are not.

Kashmir Hill

Theses and Dissertations

Defense and submission.

Sign on door that says "Dissertation in Progress"

Below is an overview of the main steps in preparing, defending, and submitting your thesis or dissertation. For detailed instructions on each step, see The Graduate School's  Guide for Electronic Submission of Thesis and Dissertation (PDF) .

Guide for Electronic Submission of Thesis and Dissertation (PDF)

We provide the following templates for your convenience and to help you eliminate common formatting errors. However,  all submitted theses and dissertations must meet the specifications listed in the ETD guide . The manuscript must be a completed document, formatted correctly, with no sections left blank.

Notes about the LaTex Template

When you submit your thesis or dissertation electronically, you will also permit Duke University to make it available online through  DukeSpace  at Duke Libraries. See the pages below for more information about ETDs:

Check out the writing support  offered by The Graduate School, such as writing spaces, consultations, and access to online writing workshops, communities, and resources.

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  18. Duke Student Powerpoint: Karen Owen Describes Sexual Partners

    A Duke student's risque PowerPoint has firmly implanted itself in the annals of legendary internet stories for generations to come. Karen F. Owen, a 2010 Duke grad, composed an in-depth, thesis ...

  19. Karen Owen's Duke Powerpoint: Horizontal Academics Goes Viral

    Oct. 8, 2010 6:00 pm ET. Text. Karen Owen's now infamous PowerPoint "thesis" detailing the thirteen men she had relations with while an undergraduate student at Duke University has quickly become ...

  20. Duke Student PowerPoint "Sex List" Coverage MISSING the point

    No Comments. With all the recent news and media coverage discussing the Duke student's PowerPoint "Sex List" (what she titled a Thesis), almost all of the discussion is missing one important point: A RAPE appears to be described in her PowerPoint presentation. One of the sexual encounters she writes about is when she is "blacked out.".

  21. Duke Winces as a Private Joke Slips Out of Control

    Oct. 7, 2010. DURHAM, N.C. — For nearly two weeks, many here on the Duke University campus had been aware of a certain senior "thesis" that a recent graduate wrote, apparently as a private ...

  22. The Privacy Landmine That is Duke Graduate Karen Owen's 'Senior Thesis'

    The latest story is jaw-dropping even for the Blue Devils. Karen Owen, a 2010 graduate, kept detailed notes on her sexual adventures with 13 members of Duke's lacrosse, baseball and tennis teams ...

  23. Duke Sex Thesis Penis Size

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  24. Theses and Dissertations

    Below is an overview of the main steps in preparing, defending, and submitting your thesis or dissertation. For detailed instructions on each step, see The Graduate School's Guide for Electronic Submission of Thesis and Dissertation (PDF). Schedule your defense and apply for graduation in DukeHub (defense and graduation deadlines).; At least 30 days before your defense: Confirm or update your ...

  25. Duke Sex Thesis Youtube

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