Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Offer more sexual education resources

Joshua Grenier

No one wants to sit down and listen to an awkward explanation of sex from an uncomfortable parent or a teacher limited in the information they can provide. It likely isn’t going to answer all your questions, and important information may be left out. Sex is an avoided topic in many contexts, leading to several unanswered questions among teenagers and young adults. 

Students come from an abundance of different backgrounds before beginning their life at UT, so sexual education can vary between students depending on where they were raised and their schooling system

“I feel like there’s definitely a lack of proper education on sex,” said Athan Swick, an African and African Diasporic Studies freshman. “Sex and everything surrounding sex. I think it’s a shame and I think it has to do with (the fact that) there’s not a lot of support by the public school system to push proper sex education. So you just have a lot of people walking around with misinformation.”

However, college is a time when students become more individualistic, taking the time to explore and introduce themselves to mature topics. While these new aspects of adulthood can’t be avoided, we can at least educate so topics like sex are less scary and stigmatized. 

“It becomes a harmful echo chamber where misinformation is spread,” said Swick. “So I think overall current college culture isn’t that good. And I think with hookup culture, growing and expanding and becoming the cultural norm, it only exacerbated it.”

The University Health Services offers resources and encourages students to request presentations that can help discuss the topic in-depth and in an educational way. While any resources are helpful to those looking for information, more extensive information would be beneficial for students coming from a specific background. 

“We really focus on affordable or low cost or primarily free access to a variety of safer sex supplies,” said Brittany O’Malley, HealthyHorn’s associate director of prevention and wellness. “When students are ready or choose to engage in any sexual experience, they’re ready to be prepared and have that because we know cost and privacy are barriers for that.”

Because many students have different comfort levels, finding different ways to introduce the topic in a more casual and accessible way can benefit students for the better. Approaches such as in-person education and resources that aren’t private may make students uncomfortable and avoid searching out information. Instead, more online resources such as recorded videos or explanatory resources on different topics are needed to aid in educating college students. 

“I do think it’s possible and I think it’s something that we actually have been in conversations with in recent months, with some various student organizations about what it would look like to develop any kind of online education options,” O’Malley said. 

At the end of the day, it’s up to students to search out information, but ensuring proper resources and access aids students in approaching topics that may be looked down on. It can be difficult to navigate a topic that isn’t properly taught, especially when there are many different and important aspects to ensuring a safe and comfortable environment regarding sex. 

Rail is an English sophomore from El Paso, Texas.

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