What comes to your mind when you hear the term “sex education?” Probably memories of awkward discussions with parents or horrifying movies taught by less-than-thrilled sixth grade teachers. If that’s the case, let Drury University’s annual Sex on Campus event change your perception.
This Monday, Feb. 12, a panel of field experts will face some of the student body’s toughest questions about sex. The event provides a safe atmosphere for students to anonymously submit questions and receive accurate information.
Guest judges include Dr. Libby Bennett, clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist; Ty Pierce, professor of psychology and sociology at Drury; and Danica Wilson and John Gray, prevention services of AIDS Project of the Ozarks.
The event is sponsored by Panthers for Prevention, an organization that promotes healthy choices with an emphasis on safe relationships and safe alcohol use. Panthers for Prevention will also be selling raffle tickets for door prizes and announcing the winners of their healthy relationship contest. The contest ran from Feb. 5-8, during which students could partner with a significant other or friend and answer questions about their relationship.
Kimberly Edwards, president of Panthers for Prevention, believes Sex on Campus will be a success.
“This is one of our biggest events each year,” said Edwards. “I think students always enjoy it because the panelists are really candid and make people laugh.”
To Edwards, the informal but sincere advice of the panelists is what helps break the societal barriers that have prohibited teens from talking about sex in educational settings for decades.
“It’s important that Drury be a place where we can have open discussions and not have them be considered a taboo subject,” said Edwards.
According to YouGov, an international market research and data analytics firm, the debate over whether to have sex education in American schools is over. Their 2015 survey (partnered with Huffington Post) found that two thirds of people surveyed believe that teenagers should be taught about various methods of birth control. The poll also found that people believe sex education should be taught starting at age 12.
While Panthers for Prevention has sex education covered, the group also hosts other educational events throughout the year. Keg on Campus is an event held each fall semester. The event includes locally made root beer, informational speakers, tipsy-style games, prizes and more. Panthers for Prevention is currently in the process of planning their Sexual Assault Awareness Week which will be featured later this spring.
Edwards believes active prevention campaigns are vital to the university’s safe campus atmosphere.
“When I first joined Panthers for Prevention, I didn’t understand how impactful that it could be,” said Edwards. “It’s great to see students enjoy activities that a lot of other universities don’t have.”
Sex on Campus will be located in the Hoblit Suite and will start at 8:15 p.m., lasting approximately two hours. However, you might want to get there early if you want a good seat. In previous years, Sex on Campus has attracted very large crowds. It’s never too late to learn about the birds and the bees.
Article by Danielle Wheelan.