Students at SDSU are generally ignorant about their sexual health.
Everyone needs to face the reality. This is a big part of life that is being ignored. Students need to be better educated about keeping themselves healthy.
When Juice Editor Laura Lucas was working on her article about HPV leading to throat cancer, she asked several men whether they knew that they could contract a sexual disease through giving their girlfriend oral sex. Most replied with a confused look.
This is the sad reality facing many college students today at SDSU. People here know little about keeping themselves healthy while being sexually active. Sure, they know to use a condom to keep from getting the girl pregnant (which is usually only 98 percent effective when used reliably, according to www.metrokc.gov), but condoms don’t protect against everything.
Sex is rarely spoken about in a conservative state like South Dakota. Sexual health is discussed even less. Some junior and high schools are allowed to teach abstinence only. When those innocent, pure students reach college and are confronted with a life where it seems everyone is having sex, (some studies have found that every three out of four college students are sexually active) they can be led astray and not know what to do to protect themselves.
According to www.bacchusgamma.org, “Although most college students aged 18-24 have had sex before entering college, it is during the college years that they are at the greatest risk for sexual health issues.” Why then aren’t students taught how to protect and keep themselves healthy?
One way SDSU can help to remedy this situation is to offer better student health programs. We have a Student Health office, but while condoms and other contraceptive devices are available there, how readily accessible are they, really? SDSU should have these materials available in residence halls so that students have better access and know they are available.
SDSU could also offer classes about sexual health and sexual health issues. Why not have sexual health be a bigger chapter covered in an entry-level general studies class such as GS-100 (Wellness)? They could offer a sexual health class option, teaching updated information about issues, which could count toward your required health credit. This could teach students that both women and men are responsible for sexual health. There could also be information about issues like date rape, how to protect yourself from being raped and what to do if you are assaulted.
It’s interesting to note that authorities place a lot of stress about drugs and alcohol and how harmful they are to your health, and yet diseases you can get from sexual relations-some of which can be as harmful as drugs-is completely ignored.
Abstinence only is a nice theory, but it’s not really a reality in the world today. In order for college students to be prepared when they step out into the real world, they need to be educated in every area that might affect them out in the world.