Some may wonder why sexual scholarship seems to be popular on college campuses nationwide (e.g., Incest Fest, Facebook “Hook Up” groups, fetish clubs).

The answer may be that relationships will be difficult to make after graduation, when student loans must be repaid.

New York Times writer Jessica Silver-Greenberg shares reports on the romantic travails of the debt-burdened.

As she nibbled on strawberry shortcake, Jessica LaShawn, a flight attendant from Chicago, tried not to get ahead of herself and imagine this first date turning into another and another, and maybe, at some point, a glimmering diamond ring and happily ever after. ..

Her musings were suddenly interrupted when her date asked a decidedly unromantic question: “What’s your credit score?”

“It was as if the music stopped,” Ms. LaShawn, 31, said, recalling how the date this year went so wrong so quickly after she tried to answer his question honestly. “It was really awkward because he kept telling me that I was the perfect girl for him, but that a low credit score was his deal-breaker.”

The credit score, once a little-known metric derived from a complex formula that incorporates outstanding debt and payment histories, has become an increasingly important number used to bestow credit, determine housing and even distinguish between job candidates.

It’s so widely used that it has also become a bigger factor in dating decisions, sometimes eclipsing more traditional priorities like a good job, shared interests and physical chemistry. That’s according to interviews with more than 50 daters across the country, all under the age of 40.

San Diego pundit and finance/economics expert W.C. Varones offers this observation:

While the article focuses on credit scores, singles would be wise to pay attention instead to the type of debt. Credit card debt is like gonorrhea or chlamydia: it can be easily eliminated with the wonder antibiotic of bankruptcy (and who hasn’t run up $20K at Macy’s or screwed a stranger unprotected in a bathroom stall?). Student loans, however, are immune to bankruptcy just as herpes and AIDS are incurable. Avoid student debtors like you’d avoid a needle-using Haitian prostitute.