The Birds and the Bees: Talking to Your Student about Sex

Did you know?

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  • Leon County (home of FSU) has the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in the state of Florida. 1
  • Florida has the third highest rate of HIV in the nation. 2
  • Only 25% of FSU students have ever had an HIV test. 3
  • FSU students report that their biggest barrier to getting an STD test or getting on birth control is, “I am afraid my parents will find out I am having sex.”

Many of our students are avoiding sexual health medical care because they are worried that their parents will find out they are having sex and will react negatively. Research shows that students whose parents talk openly about sex with them have less risky sexual behavior 1, have fewer sexual partners 5, are more likely to delay first sexual experience 6, are more likely to use a condom 7, and are more likely to seek sexual health medical care8.

Parents, we need your help!

Your students need to know that you care about their sexual health and you want them to access sexual health medical care.

Please consider discussing the following topics with your student

  • Sexual Consent
  • Sexual Decision-Making and Values
  • Safer Sex (such as using condoms and dental dams)
  • HPV Vaccinations
  • Birth Control
  • Annual Gynecology Exams
  • STD Testing
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Sexual Pleasure
  • Healthy Relationships

Foster an open dialogue with your student by keeping the conversation light and using humor to break the tension. Treat your student as an autonomous adult, capable of making their own decisions. When you acknowledge your student’s sexual desires, you empower them to make healthy sexual decisions.

What does FSU do?

FSU has several resources to improve the sexual health of our students including:

  • University Health Services offers gynecological care, primary care, and STI testing, along with several other specialties.
  • The Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness offers free condoms, lube, and dental dams. They also provide free sexual health consultations that allow students to talk to someone about sexual health, sexual and gender identities, sexual dysfunction, or any other sex questions they might have.
  • Several locations around campus have free condom dispensers.

1http://www.flhealthcharts.com/charts/OtherIndicators/NonVitalSTDDataViewer.aspx?cid=0145

2https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/overview/geographicdistribution.html

3https://chaw.fsu.edu/sites/g/files/upcbnu1671/files/docs/healthdata.pdf

4 K S Miller, M L Levin, D J Whitaker, and X Xu. Patterns of condom use among adolescents: the impact of mother-adolescent communication. October 7, 2011. American Journal of Public Health.

5 Douglas Kirby, B. A. Laris. Effective Curriculum‐Based Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs for Adolescents. 23 March 2009. Child Development Perspectives. Volume 3. Issue 1.

6 Douglas B. Kirby. The impact of abstinence and comprehensive sex and STD/HIV education programs on adolescent sexual behavior. September 2008, 5:18. Sexuality Research & Social Policy.

7 Douglas Kirby, B. A. Laris. Effective Curriculum‐Based Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs for Adolescents. 23 March 2009. Child Development Perspectives. Volume 3. Issue 1.

8 Cora C. Breuner, Gerri Mattson. Sexuality Education for Children and Adolescents. August 2016. The American Academy of Pediatrics: Clinical Report. Volume 138. Issue 2.

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