What’s Sex Got to do with…Colleges Needing Your Sexual History?

Some colleges have started making their students take short programs that ask for their sexual history, and unsurprisingly, it isn’t going over too well.

Individuals often live their lives based on what other individuals are doing and what their culture presents as the norm. A sexual script can dictate how, why, and when individuals should partake in sex. Individuals often base their sexual behavior on what other individuals are doing. Sexual scripts are different for men and women, and often help determine the role that each individual will play in a sexual encounter. Sexual scripts are not stagnant, but instead change over time based on what is accepted by culture. The current sexual script on many college campuses is one that supports hooking up. Many people participate in these sexual scripts without a second thought because they have become so engrained in our society.

Yet, why is how students choose to participate in sexual scripts the business of a university? Some colleges, such as Florida Atlantic University and Clemson, have began to make their students participate in a course that asks detailed questions about their sex lives, including how often, what activities, and whether or not a condom is used. This course, called TMI U is a prerequisite for registering for classes, and therefore must be completed by incoming students. FAU states that through this information they will be able to gain a better understanding of the situation on their campus and therefore be able to prevent more sexual assaults. Students at Clemson must complete a course through Campus Clarity, or else they will be in violation of the student code of conduct.

The goal of the program is to figure out the mindset of students on campus and what they do and don’t consider sexual assault. Some of the questions however do seem a little intrusive and unnecessary. Knowing how students view consent may be influential in how colleges approach educating their student bodies, but knowing how many times that a student has had sex in the past three months most likely won’t. The courses may also not provide accurate results, considering many students may simply rush through it without actually paying attention. Therefore, the results of the program may seem much more promising than they actually are.

Can determining how students partake in sexual scripts help prevent sexual assault, or are they unrelated? Would there be a better way of going about trying to prevent sexual assault, rather than asking for a detailed sexual history?

 

6 thoughts on “What’s Sex Got to do with…Colleges Needing Your Sexual History?

  1. The intent of these surveys is noble enough, because who would not try to prevent sexual assault? Like you pointed out though, some of the questions presented do not seem to be related to campus safety when it comes to sex. Because of the current political climate surrounding sexual assault on college campuses, it seems like institutions are trying anything and everything to change their approach to data collecting and how they deal with assaults. While the survey may right now come off as invasive and unproductive, I like that it is acknowledging hookup culture and the role it could play in sexual assault, which is completely ignored in the CASA Bill. Hopefully the questions in the survey can be fined tuned to better analyze what factors are most associated with sexual assault.

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  2. I was very shocked reading this blog on how college need your sexual history to stop sexual assault. I truthfully don’t completely find the two related. I feel knowing every students sexual history won’t really prevent sexual assaults/rape. I feel the universities are trying to make their campuses safer but I’m not sure how this is that helpful due to the fact you have thousands of students so you technically won’t remember, won’t get to each students survey, and they you also may have students lying on the survey especially since it may not be anonymous. I’m not really sure what a better way of going about trying to prevent sexual assault is but it may be something like the Green Dot program on our Campus were every student needs to go through the bystander program or even that every student must take a 1 credit hour class about these important topics.

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  3. I do not think that sexual assault is related to sexual history. Sexual assault is power based and a means in which to control another person physically. The schools should create bystander intervention and self defense programs in order to help students be aware about sexual assault on campus.The only purpose the survey could have, would be figuring out how much they need to teach incoming student about safe sex.

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  4. Colleges attempt to make a correlation between a person’s sexual script and a person’s likelihood of engaging in sexual assault seems a little obscure. It also seems extremely awkward to disclose your sexual narrative into a college ran program. I think that colleges should stop trying to make correlations between sexual assaults and other things and try to get to the core issue itself, which is nonetheless sexual assault! They should be fighting against sexual assault not trying to delve into the sex lives of their students. This could be accomplished by establishing courses and programs that specifically target the issue as already stated by other people who commented on this post.

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  5. I agree with what you are saying and what previous comments have pointed out. I believe that having such a survey, though it seems to be poorly put together and thought out, is a good first step in trying to understand the sexual climate on campus. I also believe that the sexual climate on campus and sexual assault are related, in that certain practices can lead to a higher likelihood of sexual assault (i.e. alcohol usage), however specific practices, such as condom usage, a very unrelated. Though this survey has good intentions it can lead to a mistrust and distaste of administration. Making this a requirement just to enroll in classes and then asking such intrusive questions paints the administration as perversely nosey as opposed to trying to gather data for a good purpose. I believe there are better ways schools ca go about this but at least the first steps are being taken.

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  6. The amount of sex a person has had has no influence on the prevention of sexual assault. A sober virgin could rape someone. A better method would be to require online tests like alcohol.edu that educate students. Also, organizations like Project Safe should spread the word and educate students about sexual assault. What are these colleges’ plans to prevent sexual assault after knowing everyone’s sexual history? Do they really believe it would help or are they just trying to appease the system?

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