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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Center offers sex ed. to UA

    ASUA’s Women’s Resource Center will offer students a sex education resource group to address a perceived lack of knowledge on safe-sex practices.

    Carly Thomsen, director of the Women’s Resource Center and a women’s studies graduate student, said that the center was motivated to start the program by the state of Arizona’s policy on abstinence-only sex education, which does not discuss any form of contraceptives.

    After working with teenagers in a separate course through the Southwest Institute for Research on Women, Thomsen witnessed firsthand how little many teenagers knew about sex education.

    “”I was shocked that 15- and 16-year-old kids knew very little about healthy sexuality, birth control and things of that nature,”” Thomsen said. “”If you’re not getting sex ed in high school, you’re coming to college with very little information on how to have a healthy, positive sexual relationship.””

    Alyssa Padilla, a marketing

    If you’re not getting sex ed in high school, you’re coming to college with very little information on how to have a healthy, positive sexual

    -Carly Thomsen,
    director of the Women’s Resource Center

    junior and an intern at the Women’s Resource Center, said she thinks the sex ed program is something students should take advantage of, especially in-state freshmen.

    “”We are just trying to make up for what hasn’t been taught and make students more aware of their health decisions,”” Padilla said.

    The program is supported by a coalition of local organizations including Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona, Campus Health Service and the Student Health Advisory Committee, Thomsen said.

    Its main goal is to present information about sexually transmitted infections and birth-control methods to any group that is interested.

    Sororities, fraternities, residence halls and sports groups are likely participants, Thomsen said, but even a group of friends could request to hear a presentation, which consists of a one-and-a-half hour “”sex talk”” that will be offered during the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at the audience’s requested location.

    Six UA students volunteered to be facilitators by responding to an e-mail sent through a Women’s Resource Center listserv.

    “”We provide all of

    We’re not open 24/7, but
    students are.

    -Leeann Hamilton,
    health educator

    the training, and as long as facilitators are students they are eligible,”” Thomsen said.

    An open mind and a non-judgmental viewpoint are essential to being involved, she added.

    The program’s costs, which include facilitator training, educational pamphlets and free condoms handed out at the presentations, are covered by a grant from the Parents and Family Association.

    “”The students at the Women’s Resource Center are running the show,”” said Vicki Hadd-Wissler, director of education and training for Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona.

    The education program uses a Planned Parenthood curriculum that addresses all forms of birth control and STIs.

    Leeann Hamilton, a health educator at Campus Health, said the program will be more accessible than Campus Health is on its own.

    “”We’re not open 24/7, but students are,”” Hamilton said. “”If students are hesitant and don’t know who to talk to, it’s a great resource.””

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