My first year in the SPA Leadership Program, I was a part of the Gender and Sexuality Issue Group. Amongst our group members, we developed the following research question: “How can we factually inform members of our community on inclusive sexual education?”
The first phase of our social action project was to implement a poll to gain some insight into the sexual education of students on campus. The poll consisted of a variety of questions such as “What type of school did you go to?”, “Did you receive sexual education and if so, what did you learn?”, “Did you receive same-sex sexual education?”, etc. The 246 responses we received were eye-opening. While most of the students received a sexual education, there was still a decently sized percentage that did not and we noticed that there was a difference in sexual education received between students who went to public school and those that went to private school. Additionally, a staggering percentage of respondents never received same-sex education, which is unsurprising, but still unfortunate. While students on campus do have a basic idea of safe sexual behaviors and defining consent, it is neither entirely consistent or accurate.
The second phase of our social action project was a safe sex tabling event. Prior to its occurrence on April 21st, we created a poster with the event details in order to spread the word to ensure we had a substantial amount of attendees. The campaign we partook in was a partnership with Trojan’s “Consent: Ask for It” campaign. As a result, we received 500 condoms, temporary tattoos, and a large banner with bubbles for students to fill in with what their idea of consent is. We also distributed candy and collected various safe-sex slogans from attendees and the winner won a $50 Visa gift card. The event concluded as a success with 104 attendees, 500 distributed condoms, and a banner full of student’s definitions of consent. Throughout the event, we were able to verbally communicate with students, asking them about what they believed consent was, as well as spread awareness for the issue and the goals of our campaign to those who inquired. As a result of our social media campaign and tabling event, we were able to increase students’ awareness on how to engage in safe sex as well as provide them the resources to practice safe sex.