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'Loveline' host teaches meaning of relationships

By Andrew Moon
Published: 2/16/2004

How often do people rely on their instincts to make important decisions? Television and radio Dr. Drew Pinsky focused on this issue as he entertained and informed a lively audience Thursday night with the facts about love, drug abuse and sex.

The open forum in the Multipurpose Room of the Rutgers Student Center on the College Avenue campus revealed many of the common myths about relationships and sex between males and females. Dr. Drew pointed out many of the popular misconceptions facing college students daily, such as the infamous "double standard."

According to conventional knowledge, he said it is socially acceptable for males to be promiscuous, while females are quickly labeled for sexual flings. He said studies showed females were the first to stigmatize promiscuous activity, while males did not. When choosing a mate, males actually pay little attention to past relationships.

Media Credit: Gloribelle Hernandez/Staff Photographer

Radio and television host Dr. Drew Pinsky speaks on relationships Thursday night at the Rutgers Student Center on the College Avenue campus.

Dr. Drew's disarming presence encouraged the audience to be honest and direct about issues usually pushed aside as social taboos, and once he had created a comfortable atmosphere, the audience began to open up. "Once the barrier was broken, everyone was comfortable talking about these issues," said Andrew Coutermarsh, a Rutgers College first-year student.

Dr. Drew focused on personal instincts and mistakes often made when individuals ignore their gut feelings. He said people instinctively tend to value integrity and morals over physical attractiveness when choosing a partner, but societal influences promote the opposite. He said a lot of regret and anguish can be caused by failing to recognize personal instincts.

Dr. Drew cited himself as a perfect example of someone who has grown and prospered by listening to his instincts. In 1983, while still in medical school, Dr. Drew began hosting a call-in radio program focused on romantic relationships. At a time when the media avoided dealing with such issues, he faced them head-on but was scrutinized by the public and his colleagues in so doing.

The negative attention made him question his decision to host the show and is why he has never used his last name on air, Dr. Drew said.

Without relying on his instincts, Dr. Drew said he would have quickly given up the show. He implored the audience to make decisions based on personal ideals rather than conforming to peer pressure. In a society where individuals are strongly swayed by their influences, Dr. Drew said people must focus on "listening to internal voices when they speak to you."

Dr. Drew is the medical director for the Department of Chemical Dependency Services at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, Calif., and host of MTV's popular call-in show "Loveline" and NBC's "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus."