UNC’s Sex Trivia Night shows a need for better sex education

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UNC's Sex Trivia Night during Homecoming Week. Photo courtesy of Jovana Caicedo.

On Oct. 15, the University of Northern Colorado’s Center for Peer Education hosted a Sex Trivia night in the UC Ballrooms. The Ballrooms started the night out packed with people in the room having to get chairs from other places. It proved to be a valuable opportunity for students to learn more about sex positivity and inclusiveness and it highlighted a lack of education around sex. 

The mission statement for the Center for Peer Education says, “We hope that through education and awareness, we can equip our peers with the necessary tools to make safe and responsible decisions in an effort to create a safe and healthy campus experience for all.” 

Their work in educating students is valued as their statistics proved surprising for many and some questions they asked had a large part of participants guessing wrong.

After technical difficulties, round three of the game consisted of UNC’s sex statistics. Some interesting facts were given, such as:

  • 58% of UNC students reported using contraception
  • 26% of UNC students reported having drunk sex
  • 19% of students reported the use of emergency contraception 
  • 27% of students reported using condoms during anal intercourse

These facts show that most students do engage in safe sex practices, such as using contraception. However, the reports of drunk sex and use of condoms when having anal sex is concerning as these show a lack of safe practices at UNC. 

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Students need to realize that consent while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not consent because an inebriated person cannot give informed consent. 

Another important fact students should know is around anal intercourse, where most do not use condoms, which is an activity that should have extra protection. 

The game of trivia turned into a needed session on various facts on safe sex and best practices. A lesser-known best practice is that when using sex toys, it is best to wash it after every use and disinfect it once a week. Many who use these tools forget that with all things, it is best to clean and maintain the device. Safe sex practices such as using a water-based lube rather than an oil-based lube are significant because many students do not know that the use of an oil-based lube can lead to a degradation of a condom. 

It is noteworthy that all night the CPE encouraged the use of condoms hoping to curb preventable STIs that students might contract. For example, in the last round, they examined how 50% of sexually active people got an STI by 25 years old. These could be prevented by the simple use of condoms and practices they put forward that night.

Big portions of the attendees got these three questions wrong: 

  • Myth or Fact? Vaginal douching is a safe and effective way to eliminate vaginal odors and discharge. 

This is a common myth. Around seven big groups of 7 to 10 people, got this question wrong and is concerning because as stated in trivia, this is not a safe or effective way to treat these problems. It can cause infections because the pH balance of this area is already naturally regulated and the chemicals of these washes can throw off natural protections.

  •  Myth or Fact? Members of the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to engage in unsafe sexual practices.

This too was a myth, not a fact. The response from the attending students showed that this is perceived as a fact as 21 groups of 7-10 people, got this wrong out of 56 total groups. It is a harmful stigma around the LGBTQ+ community that is false, anyone who is sexually active has the same risk of contracting STI’s, as a member of this community might. 

  • What is the average shelf-life of latex condoms?

The answer to this is five years. This more light-hearted questions was one that only one group got right.

Sophia Narod, a student noted that, “It was very important based on the type of answers up there. It was kind of worrying that so many misconceptions people had, and it is important that people learn that these were misconceptions.”

Another student, Kathryn White claimed, “It is a good way to do sex ed.”

The event also had representatives from the Colorado School of Public Health, to answer any other questions and to provide curious students with information on the various degrees and programs offered in this field of education.

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