Sexual awareness week promotes open communication

by Kelly Hildebrandt

According to the student organization Sexual Health Awareness and Disease Education, abstinence among teenagers is on the rise. But this trend hasn’t stopped the organizations from educating people on healthy sexuality and birth control.
To promote communication about sex, SHADE is sponsoring Healthy Sexuality Week, formerly known as Safe Sex Week and Safer Sex Week.
SHADE sponsored the event, which gives students a chance to talk to different organizations and ask questions, said Kodi Johnson, a peer educator at SHADE.
Healthy Sexuality Week kicked off with a Healthy Sexuality Game Show and will end Friday night with the Dr. Date Mixer at the Frederick R.Weisman Art Museum. The mixer will feature free massages and tarot card readings.
Today, a workshop for sexual self-knowledge and communication will take place at the Fireplace Lounge in Coffman Union.
The workshop will help students overcome the communication barriers in a sexual relationship.
“We end up dispelling a lot of myths students have about (sexually transmitted diseases),” Johnson said about the events during Healthy Sexuality Week. Students have a variety of questions ranging from abstinence to STD’s to birth control.
“I think people are uncomfortable talking about sexuality in a normal way,” said Shannon Kadow, an outreach educator at the Family Tree Clinic. The clinic is one of the organizations at the Healthy Sexuality Maze to answer questions.
The Family Tree Clinic travels to different places, such as schools, to educate about sexuality and give kids firsthand experience with contraceptives, Kadow said.
“We realize not everyone is going to come to an event,” said Dave Dorman, an adviser for SHADE. “We wanted people to talk to their friends about what it means to be sexually healthy.”
In addition to Healthy Sexuality Week, SHADE provides programs that student organizations and residence halls can schedule. The programs tackles topics like abstinence and having sex while intoxicated.