Last Wednesday Welfare, Community and Diversity Officer, Georgina Burchell, launched her new Sexperience campaign held in the Hive. The event has been designed to remove the stigmas surrounding sexual health.
It consisted of a series of stalls and talks, by various organisations including Leeway and the Terrence Higgins Trust, on subjects ranging from domestic abuse, to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and consent.
Burchell’s primary goals of the event and subsequent campaign are to help combat stigmas such as ‘slut-shaming’, ‘educating each other’ about different cultural or religious beliefs, and to allow young people to make ‘informed decisions’ regarding their sexual health.
It is a welcomed step in educating students on issues regarding the psychological, emotional and physical implications surrounding sex and relationships.
The positive impacts of high quality, accessible resources to sex education have been widely reported. The subject has been made a mandatory requirement by the Norwich City Council and University administration, with UEA up to three years behind some other British universities in discussing these issues.
When asked whether the event had been successful, Burchell expressed the belief that the event would help normalise issues of sexual health, making these conversations easier to have over time.
Issues of sexual health have come to prominence of late in universities. Over 563,654 reports of STIs were contracted in young people aged 20-24 in the UK in 2017. There were also issues of student pregnancy; an NUS survey in 2009 revealed that 59 percent of students with children did not feel supported by their university.
For more information on the campaign go to: https://www.uea.su/blogs/blog/welfare/2018/11/09/Sexperience-Launch/