Improve sex education for international students

A sex education program should be designed to better inform students from other countries.

Daily Editorial Board

 

From navigating student visas to finding housing thousands of miles away from home to communication issues, foreign students seeking degrees at the University of Minnesota face a multitude of barriers upon their arrival to the U.S. Add a lack of sexual health information and education, and the list becomes even more daunting.

Boynton Health Service officials reported earlier this week that they’ve noticed an increase in abnormal pap smears, sexually transmitted diseases and positive pregnancy tests among international students.

Officials cited a lack of sex education as a possible cause for the recent uptick and are currently investigating the issue as well as collecting patient data.

Nan Sinchai, the vice president of the Minnesota International Student Association, told the Minnesota Daily that many students from other countries find it difficult to talk openly about sex as the subject is very taboo back home.

Still, it is important to breach these subjects with international students since sexual health issues can last long beyond collegiate years.

While a bit of sex education is covered during Welcome Week, the University should work to create an education program specifically for international students to help them understand sexual health and the resources available to them. The massive lectures and activities during Welcome Week might not be the best place for these messages.

These efforts must be made in a comfortable environment to make it easy for people from different cultures and backgrounds to understand this vital health information.