April 23 2012
Just how we wear helmets, use sunscreen, and carry umbrellas, we live in a society where we are comfortable knowing that there are plenty of procedures’ and percussions used to keep us safe and healthy. If we would not leave the house in the rain with out an umbrella or step into the sun without sunglasses, why do so many Americans participate in unprotected sex? At Arizona State University hundreds of students take part in sexual encounters without first taking the proper percussions. If students were more aware of the statistics, side effects, and consequences of unprotected sex, the amount of students that currently practice unsafe sex would significantly decrease. I am proposing that with education provided through ASU 101, dormitory living, and on-campus organizations students will learn and apply ways to practice safe sex while in college, which will cause a decrease in the STD and pregnancy rates among the university. To fully understand the problem at hand, let’s take a look at some statistics. In many cases viewing statistics on a certain matter can be a frightening experience. To many, no shock would come from hearing that, “Eighty to ninety percent of college students are sexually active.” (Fleming 187) In society today, premarital sex, and college hook-ups have become part of the norm. Out of these sexually active students many participate in inconsistent condom use and have sexual encounters with multiple partners. After hearing that, is it surprising that “people under age 25 account for almost half of the 19 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that are diagnosed each year”? (Fleming 187) In an article found in The Journal of American College Health, Michael Fleming analyzes the effects that come from college students participating in unprotected sex. Here at Arizona State University the students are no different then any other college campus. Students all across America do not take the proper precautions to keeping their bodies safe and healthy. A large reason for these students’ choices is due to their lack of knowledge and understanding of the lifelong consequences that can result from unsafe sex. In a survey Lindsey Ross conducted, out of 180 students “more than half of the participants (61.1%) had engaged in sexual intercourse without using a condom in their lifetime.”(Ross 213) These numbers are horrifying in many ways. Students that do not practice safe sex are putting themselves and their partners at risk. A simple use of a condom would help eliminate unwanted/unplanned pregnancies, the number of abortions, and the increasing amount of sexually transmitted diseases diagnosed each year. “Consistent use of condoms for sexual intercourse is highly effective at reducing the transmission of HIV/STD.” (Civic 96) Students make the choice to wear the condom or not. When students were confronted with why they chose not to wear condoms, the most common reason for lack of use was “I knew my partner’s sexual history.” (Civic 100) When students feel they are at low risk of being infected with an STD, or trust that their partner has been honest about his/her past, their desire to wear a condom decreases. The problem with this theory is that, one could be infected without his/her own knowledge, or could be dishonest about their sexual past in fear of rejection or embarrassment. If students were better educated on how life changing this one decision could be, reasons such as “sex was unplanned or spontaneous, condoms were too inconvenient, or [condoms] reduced sexual pleasure” (Civic 100) would no longer be acceptable.
The first step to getting students at Arizona State to understand the consequences of unprotected sex is by broadening their education of the issue. Currently, every school at ASU has it’s own course that freshman are required to take their first semester here. The objective of this course is to get new...