Sexual education campaigns: ineffective for students

Sexual education campaigns: ineffective for students

2023-10-02 09:08:36

Many sexual education projects are aimed at university students. However, a study by the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) has analyzed the opinion of students about these campaigns and has discovered that for many they are considered fatalistic, prejudiced and ineffective.

During the university stage it is important to know how to maintain correct sexual health. EFE/ Pablo Moraga

The stage between post-adolescence and adulthood is the period of greatest sexual activity for most people. Despite awareness campaigns, a study shows that students say they do not have sufficient education or knowledge about sexuality.

He uncontrolled and unsafe sex can be a risk factor for morbidity and mortality, since it is possible to contract sexually transmitted diseases or infections.

And team of researchersled by the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), the University of Santiago de Chile, the Bernardo O’Higgins University and the Universidad del Desarrollo of Chile have carried out a study that assesses the obstacles and facilities that hinder or encourage the development of healthy sexual behaviors.

The objective of the research, developed through a survey of different students of Chilean universities, it is study the opinion and difficulties of university students in sexual matters.

Manuel Armayones, researcher at the Behavioural Design Lab del eHealth Center de la UOC, professor of Psychology Studies and Educational Sciences and first signatory of the article, states: “With the study we try to discover what hinders and what helps to promote healthy sexual behaviors among university youth and we propose specific actions to improve promotion campaigns.” .

What do university students think about sexual health campaigns?

The main purpose of the study is know the opinion of university students about sexual health campaigns. The results have been published in the journal BMC Public Health and they show that students have a negative or at least diffuse opinion about the campaigns.

In fact, researchers have discovered thatUniversity students claim to have different barriers or obstacles regarding sexual health, which makes them perceive awareness campaigns as ineffective.

Among the main problems, students highlight lack of information, social stigma and lack of skills to have safe sexamong others.

Furthermore, they warn that sexual education is too focused on biological aspects.

On the other hand, they perceive that awareness and promotion campaigns are based on fatalistic content that build the explanation about sexual health based on misinformation, prejudices and taboos such as the use of condoms.

“In addition, the participants identified barriers in health centers for the delivery of condoms y lack of access to do preventive exams at the universityamong other aspects,” explains the expert from the UOC.

“It is not just about providing information, but about enabling the environment. It is very interesting that in the environment we are in there are condom machines for both women and men, and that these machines are located in the places where the university students themselves consider it safest for them,” the specialist proposes.

University: an important moment in sexual matters

“The University is a privileged environment in which to work on knowledge about sexuality because it is one of the few institutions, along with large companies, in which you have a whole group of people of the same age, in the same situation and with similar concerns,” he adds.

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From the study, Manuel Armayones highlights the realities:

On the one hand, the knowledge that young university students have about sexuality, diseases or even hygiene It is scarce. “Knowledge about the possibility of contracting a sexual disease, for example, is less than what would be desired,” explains the expert. On the other hand, the lack of ease or difficulty of access to accurate information and resources for young. “Do all universities have a device that a girl can use when after having sexual relations she thinks she may be pregnant? That’s what we asked ourselves, are there resources to answer all those questions? ”She reflects.

Manuel Armayones. Image provided.

Sexual violence and education

Unfortunately, there is currently a lot of talk about sexual violence also among minors. Being such an important issue in our society, experts strive to know the origin and possible ways to reduce the number of victims and limit the problem.

“Of course, through greater knowledge about sexuality the problem can be addressed, but knowledge should not be everything, it is part of the solution but it is not everything,” defends the expert.

The approach to new generations or the facilities This is what the expert highlights, who also must improve so that young people are not afraid of ask your questions about certain sexual situations; There must be professionals and answers whenever they need it.

Improve awareness and sexual education campaigns aimed at students

To improve the vision and knowledge that young people have about sexuality, the professional proposes the following actions:

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Increase youth participation and to do so, make communications and campaigns attractive. If the campaign is aimed at young people between 15 and 25 years old, it is best to have a spokesperson who, being an expert, understands the needs and doubts of young people and transmits confidence and knowledge to them more closely. that the iinformation is easy to understand, that solutions and proposals are given, that is, that it is serviceable and useful information.

More facilities and accessibility. That in student residences and universities there are more devices with sexual protection methods available to any young person and that the way to obtain them is simple.

Lean on new technologiesin artificial intelligence to improve all campaigns and above all to resolve all the doubts that young people have.

According to him latest CYD Rankingan indicator to measure the performance of the Spanish university system, the 57% of Spanish universities have services or programs on sexual and reproductive health.

In the last decade, hundreds of universities have been adopting and developing this type of sexual health programs on the five continents, services that, although they have represented a important progress, still They have a long way to go improve.

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