Sexual health can be a tough discussion, especially if you don’t have the best resources to answer all your questions. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) covers sexual health and preventative care, so it’s important to contact your health care provider with all your inquiries. Too many Millennials rely on their peers to educate them on sexual health, and are often led to false information. This can get even more complicated at college, so we asked young people what they wish their schools could do to better inform their students on sexual health.
Marcel Byrd, 23
Having been a sexual health educator for four years during college, I have very little shade to throw at the sexual health resources at my university. However, since transitioning into sexual health full time, I wish my school had informed me more about how stigma and oppression operate with improving sexual health outcomes across marginalized communities. Simple were the days of handing out condoms and giving presentations to fellow students, I wish I had known more about the immense privilege we carried then and the complexities that existed in real time outside of our comfortable university gates.
Kameron Haake, 19
I wish that my university would have spent more time informing its students about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Like most universities, the mine has access to things like condoms. However, they don’t really tell you how staggering the STI rate on college campus really is and that some of these follow you around for life. The university is spending a lot of time talking about sexual assault (finally) and what that means, but unfortunately still pretends that sex on campus really doesn’t exist. I wish my university spent more time acknowledging that yes, consensual sex is common, and that with that comes the responsibility to stay safe and have access to all of the necessary information regarding STIs or pregnancy prevention.
Charlotte McArn, 22
Overall, I wish my college promoted resources for males and females to go to get help with their mental, physical, emotional, and social well being which are all so important for a healthy and happy sex life and sexual health. I think it is very important for colleges to increase awareness of sexual assault and abusive relationships. Lack of overall resources in all those areas is a problem and I wish my college promoted and provided more of it.
Osub Ahmed, 28
Sexual health is a whole lot more than using condoms and getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It’s a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It includes having sexual experiences you enjoy and willingly participate in without being forced or pressured. In my opinion, being knowledgeable about sexual health is as important as any class I ever took. I wish my college had told me how unintended pregnancy will be one of the top reasons my classmates will drop out of college. I wish I had known if I have sex, I am more likely to get an STI than an older adult, or as an undergraduate woman, I have a one in four chance of being sexually assaulted. Many colleges have clinics that offer STI testing, birth control and pregnancy tests. Most students know about those things, but may not be aware of other available resources, like domestic violence counseling and cervical cancer screenings. Looking back, I realize that I approached my sexual health as though I were, in a way, invincible. That’s why I’m challenging you, students, to educate yourselves about sexual health, take advantage of the resources available to you and empower your friends to do the same.
Maaja Ashemu, 19
I did not have the chance to attend middle school when sexual health was being taught, so I have yet to experience any teaching centered around sexual health. I am in my first year in college, and I find it strange that even though there are free condoms on campus (showing there is a clear daily encounter with sexual subjects) it is not required of us to have a class about sexual health unless it is a part of your major’s requirements. There should be a wider range of education when it comes to sexual health for all college students. Sexual health is one of the most important subjects to teach because it will affect all students despite their chosen path in life (doctor, scientist, professional swimmer etc.). So I wish schools took it deeper and really explained more into what it is on all platforms.
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