Human Sexuality Education: The Most Popular Kid in School or Not?

When I was in college, there was one class on campus that was constantly full. You had to get on a waiting list just to be able to get in the class. I went two years without ever taking that class because I was never called off of the waiting list. What was this class you ask? Introduction to human sexuality, of course.

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At this point in time, my sexuality education was limited to abstinence only education in elementary and high school and the adult toy parties that my RA called educational programming before there were restrictions put on it. There were condoms at Student Health, but I had never had a truly comprehensive sexual education curriculum in my life. I was eighteen. As an adult and a student in human sexuality, this seems absolutely astounding to me that I could reach legal adulthood without really knowing much beyond where to get free condoms and that I did not want to get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or pregnant. I knew nothing of healthy relationships, communication, pleasure, even my own body!

So if we are not taught about sexuality, why are human sexuality classes and the ever popular “Sex Week” on college campuses so popular?

Well, that’s the debate, really! Some schools are more conservative than others and sexuality education is not sponsored by the institution. A 2012, New York Times article mentions the Hillel student organization sponsoring a sex week event as the university would not allow their name on it. This is not an uncommon occurrence in our culture.

Despite literature stating that comprehensive sexuality education works, as a society we continue to use other forms of education. Some college campuses, however, are finding it hard to ignore statistics such as the 50% of the 20 million new STI diagnoses are in people between the ages of 15 and 24, and are making a human sexuality course a key component of the general education curriculum for undergraduate students.

 

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