All You Need To Know About Sexual Health & Healthy Relationships
In our society, and across the globe, young people are often denied adequate sex and relationship education due to the cultural and societal taboos that continue to surround discussions of sexuality and intimacy. As a consequence, many people find it difficult to openly talk about sex and relationships and many students come to university lacking sufficient knowledge about the importance of consent, the use of contraception, and frequent testing.
However, it is very important to be aware of the above in order to avoid finding yourself in uncomfortable situations such as: being pressured into a relationship you don’t want, contracting an STI, or worrying about a potential undesired pregnancy.
For this reason, this Valentine’s season we decided to offer a platform to our students to share their stories, without having to feel ashamed. Our campaign included a quiz activity in the SU Foyer every day between Monday and Wednesday. ISC volunteers used the quiz to raise awareness about different myths around sexual health as well as about the existent help services.
We ended our campaign with a panel talk on Wednesday evening which was completely International, with representatives from Sexpression, LGBT+ committee, ISC and Serena, the current Women’s Officer.
But why did we do this? You may ask.
Well, because it is essential to challenge the taboos that prevent students from living happy and healthy relationships and sexual lives.
Because we want students to have a positive relationship with themselves and others and be confident to access all the support they need to achieve this end.
Because we want you everyone to remember things like the fact that sex is a personal choice that needs to be accepted by others, that protection is a priority for yourself and your partner, and that nobody has a right to judge you for your sexual orientation.
We’re proud to have started this conversation, and in case you missed the campaign and the information, but you would like to find out more about this all and share the knowledge, please know that there are loads of sources online, in the SU at at the UHS.
From our end, we would like to particularly highlight that:
> Sexual Health Sheffield, based in the Royal Hallamshire hospital, provides free and confidential information and advice, Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) screening and treatment, as well as a wide range of contraception methods.
> Contraception is freely available to you under the NHS and at the University Health Service. Condoms are also freely provided by the Student Advice Centre in the Student’s Union.
> There are many accurate and informative online resources that can help you navigate healthy relationships, sexual health and gender. Some useful links include:
- http://www.zanzu.de/en — A very comprehensive guide on sexual health and relationships produced by the German government. Available in 11 languages
Much love to you all!
Serena Cavasin, Women’s Officer
Ana Popa, International Students’ Officer
Jade Askew, ISC East Asian Representative