STI, pregnancy tests give information when we need it most
Last week, ASU Health Services offered free pregnancy tests and free STI tests for all students. In our society, single girls are not expected to get pregnant. It’s just part of the culture and the way we are raised to perceive childbirth and families.
People are expected to be married, or at least in the bonds of a committed relationship before having children. We also set an appropriate age for a woman to have children. This appropriate age is not in college, while in the middle of your degree.
The perfect picture of pregnancy includes a married couple in their late 20s or early 30s beaming as they go to the pharmacy and buy every available brand of the test with huge grins. Well, the truth of life is that things don’t always turn out that perfectly.
It’s a known fact that many ASU students are sexually active. Being sexually active comes with certain responsibilities, such as protection both for STIs and pregnancy prevention. But, as humans, it is easy to slip up. People don’t always make the best choices, especially when inebriated.
Many think ASU is a very sexually liberated school. As being on the top of list for party schools, this seems to be a very accurate statement. Plenty would argue that if the school is offering free pregnancy and STI tests, it’s because our students have a problem with carrying sexually transmitted diseases and getting pregnant due to unprotected sex.
While there are countless conservative organizations attempting to ban sexual education in minor education, no one seems to be promoting higher education awareness for sex education.
The controversy between teaching only abstinence in public education versus true sex education is the first step. Kids need to be aware of the effects of sex and its consequences, especially at young ages, before beginning at institutions like ASU and being forced to deal with sexual choices they are unprepared to make.
The idea that all children should learn about sex from their parents alone is ridiculous in the fact that many of Americans don’t sit down and talk to their children about any aspect of their lives. Deadbeat parents surely are not going to discuss the topic of sex with their children.
But after receiving sex education in lower institutions of learning, students need to continue to be aware of the consequences of their sexual interactions in college as well. It seems to be that after the high school freshman health class, no one lectures on STIs or teen pregnancy or any of the other numerous effects of unprotected sex.
Students are having one-night-stands at parties and engaging in casual sexual relationships. They don’t own up to the responsibility of the results of their actions. Most have never been tested for sexually transmitted diseases or even think twice about the possibility that they may be pregnant.
Making tests available on campus not only reinforces the idea that students should be wise in their sexual relationships but also reduces the taboo of registering for these types of tests.
People are not ashamed of having sex. Therefore, we as a student population should be equally comfortable with the free availability of pregnancy and STI tests.
In fact, ASU, as well as many other higher institutions, could benefit from holding more regular sex education conferences and lectures for students. The most casual sexual relationships occur among young adults during or post college, they should be as fully informed as possible.
Reach the columnist at Aubrey.McCleve@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @theartsss