In 2018 Catholic Universities Are Still Obstructing Safe Sex Practices
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In 2018 Catholic Universities Are Still Obstructing Safe Sex Practices

Guidelines meant to discourage sexual activity on campus pose a threat to sexually active students

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In 2018 Catholic Universities Are Still Obstructing Safe Sex Practices
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Let's talk about sex.

You might be having, not having it, considering having it, or absolutely uninterested in it. Whatever your preference, the key is that you're making an informed, individual decision, because it's your body and you should know what you're doing with it!

Attending a Jesuit University, like Fordham, presents some barriers to obtaining comprehensive sexual health and safety education and provisions. For example, the campus public health office can not prescribe birth control or give out any form of contraception. The rationale behind this rule is that doing so goes against the University's Jesuit beliefs.

While this is something that can be easily understood and accepted, it doesn't change the fact that not every student on campus will hold these same beliefs. So, for students who are currently sexually active or may become sexually active, the lack of resources available to them presents an issue.

As discussed in an article by Go Ask Alice, a college student is especially vulnerable to STIs due to a lack of financial access to resources, a lack of sexual health knowledge, and a general or reluctance to ask questions or talk about sexual health and behavior. In a Catholic college this problem is heightened by the fact that sex becomes a taboo topic and is deemed to be inappropriate, and even rule-breaking, behavior. When there is a stigma attached to sex, adolescents and young adults are going to be less willing to seek out information or advice from professionals.

Instead, many college-aged students are relying on word-of-mouth and peer education to get their sexual health questions answered. And while there are multitudes of young adults who are well-educated and knowledgeable about responsible and safe sexual practices, there are just as many who are misinformed.

At Catholic universities, this problem seems to be more prevalent considering the fact that many students are coming to these schools with backgrounds in Catholic education. This is not to say that every, or even a majority, of students at a Catholic university, will be practicing Catholics or have had a Catholic upbringing, but there is likely a higher percentage of these students than one might find at a non-religiously affiliated school.

The issue with this is that Catholic high-schools often ban any form of sex-ed, or enforce an abstinence-based curriculum. Again, while this is understandable according to religious views, it leaves many incoming college students clueless about safe sexual practices, in an environment where they may be more inclined to experiment sexually.

The most important thing to remember is that information and resources are available to you if you look. Planned Parenthood, your general practitioner (if you are insured), and online sources are just a few places to consider for free or low cost, qualified sexual health education, and services. Take advantage of the knowledge that is available to you and make decisions that feel right for you. Whatever your personal choices are, know your options and know that you have the ability to practice safe sex if you choose to do so.

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