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Abstract provided by interviewer Maia Bell.

Dr. Scott Self attended Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas from 1987 to 1991. He is currently a professor at A.C.U. and serves as Director of Alpha Scholars and University Access Programs, and teaches cornerstone courses. A.C.U. is a private university that is affiliated with the Churches of Christ and has adhered to a generalized Church of Christ doctrine. A.C.U. is known for providing a Christian education and holding its students to a higher moral standard. Dr. Self describes his time as a student at A.C.U. as constricting and gendered. He explains the ways that many aspects of life on campus were gendered, yet there was no awareness of gender or gender identity. There was not room for discussion regarding gender or sexuality at the time because students and faculty alike lacked the vocabulary and self-awareness that it would require. In the interview he delves into the topic of harassment and sexual conduct and the ways in which these concepts were inaccessible to students. He cites marriage as an overture for anything related to sexuality and gender roles. Dr. Self describes the way that marriage shaped his perspective on gender roles and how the pressure to date impacted him socially. Dr. Self discloses the problems that he encountered regarding marriage and the expectations, both perceived and actualized, surrounding dating. The belief amongst his peers was that they had more liberty in dating than students at sister colleges did, yet the way dating was treated and perceived proved otherwise. He describes himself as having earned the reputation of “serial first dater” and how he experienced dating and the expectation to have a fiancé by graduation. He describes how the atmosphere of ACU impacted his view of the world and the products of the moral code that were inherent on campus. He concludes the interview by discussing the challenges and problems this has continued to manifest at A.C.U. that he witnesses as a professor.

This interview is a primary source that provides information on the gendered roles students fulfilled and were expected to fill during their time on campus, as well as the implications of marriage.


The ACC/ACU Gender and Sexuality Project preserves firsthand accounts of alumni of Abilene Christian College (later Abilene Christian University), with particular attention to how students, faculty, and staff have experienced issues of gender and sexuality during their time at the institution. The collection began in Fall 2019 as a class project in HIST 340, Historical Perspectives on Gender and Sexualities.