This week I’d like to address an issue, which follows up from one of my previous articles, “But She Said “NO.”” After discussing the presence of rape and sexual assault on college campuses, I thought it would be important to also address the importance of safe sex. Protected, or safe sex is something, which can sometimes fall in shadows on many college campuses. And, when spending 24/7 with all of your friends, colleagues and peers, the presence of sexual activity can increase drastically.
In 2008, Fox News ran a controversial segment on the O'Reilly Factor called “Is Sex on College Campuses Toning Down or Heating Up?” This segment addressed the prevalence of sexual activity on college campuses and the number change of sexual partner statistics over recent years.
Programs such as Mount Holyoke College’s Sexual Health Educators (SHE), Connecticut College’s The Think S.A.F.E. Project, and Dickenson College’s Peers Assisting Learning About Safe Sex (PALS); are all examples of health educators on college campuses. Such groups can provide information, guidance & advice, and safe sex supplies. Peer Education groups are an important part of the college experience, especially because the exposure to sexual pressures is much greater in this type of environment.
Here are some general Do’s and Don’ts for college students:
Do use protection: protects from STDs & STIs, unwanted pregnancy
Do get tested: check for STDs and other types of infection/disease
Do ask your partners if they have been tested: Especially if you have any type of unprotected sex
Do inform yourself about your on-campus safe sex resources: such as peer education programs & the health center benefits
Don’t use expired protection: expired condoms/dental dams have a higher risk of breaking, can lead to unwanted STDs STIs or pregnancy, and can cause irritation which can lead to later infection
Don’t rely solely on birth control: With unprotected sex, 6% of women will still get pregnant even when taking birth control
Don’t use Plan B as a consistent alternative: the pregnancy rate of plan B is calculated for a single use. If plan B is used on more than one occasion, the cumulative pregnancy rate will be higher
Well, hopefully some of these do’s and don’ts will keep you informed and better protected. Until next time, stay safe college go-ers.