Come on – or not: The Lack of Sexual Education on College Campuses

What’s Going On?

At universities, most of these programming are vague workshops, first-year seminars, and not adhesive or permanent in the learning process.  Ultimately, there is a national crisis in students’ sexual health wellness and understanding, and it must be reformed by adequate education at the university level.  It is impossible to become ignorant of the academic and social cultures across American universities. Specifically, there is a pressing issue that exists amongst these institutions, a wide disparity in the level of sexual and reproductive health knowledge across undergraduate populations. This problem is widespread among students of all backgrounds and impacts all students that live and study on an abundance of campuses. as even the most educated students can be affected by a lack of knowledge that their peers or themselves may possess in social settings. While universities often present programming for introductory lessons on sexual health topics, this teaching is usually on surface-level information and does not combat the issue of the lack of education regarding these topics. 

STDS and Sexual Misbehavior is Contaminating The Youth

The future is dangerous for our next generation of leaders, and it is the very behavior of students themselves that can stop this epidemic: the sexual health crisis.  As researchers aim to dismantle the barriers surrounding the sexual health and wellness crisis, there is a common pattern: overwhelming statistics of problems amongst adolescents.  In the United States, more than 19 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) occur annually, almost half of which are among young people ages. Additionally, the nation has one of the highest teen birth rates of industrialized nations and nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended.

Why Is This Happening?

Educational gaps lead to misinformation and lack of knowledge 

This has been specifically associated with time constraints, shortages in funding and faculty, a focus on disease models, and diverse sexual beliefs among students, faculty, and patients.  In consideration of curriculum pitfalls, students indicate tremendous heterogeneity in the curriculum which makes it difficult to teach such topics uniformly. Furthermore, these students have reportedly increased knowledge regarding HIV than STDs due to the fact that most of these topics were taught in lower school experiences.

Students are perceiving themselves as invisible. 

As researchers continue to evaluate the barriers in teaching sexual health education, studies have revealed that students’ idealization of sexual wellness is contaminated by an overestimation bias. In this, research has revealed that students are not alarmed by the potential dangers surrounding sexual health. Furthermore, it is revealed that adolescents judge others’ risks for STD and HIV infections which correlates to their reasoning for lack of condom usage during intimate activities.

Call to Action: Reform is Needed. 

Sexual Health Course

It is imperative to recognize the expansions that are necessary for educational matters. In this, it would be beneficial to add a sexual health course to the first-year curriculum at universities. This may be focused on the promotion of sexual function, satisfaction, and alleviation of sexual dysfunction, including sexual pain, low libido, orgasm dysfunction, and erectile dysfunction. Additionally, research has found that there is a lack of equilibrium on contraceptive methods and engagement between the male and female genders, which should be a focal point in academics.

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