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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

OHIO: Kent State Addresses Sensitive Subjects During Sex Week


Akron Beacon Journal (10.29.2013)

The Akron Beacon Journal recently reported that Kent State University is sponsoring Sex Week—a program to prevent unwanted pregnancy, HIV and STDs, and sexual violence—supported by $17,000 from student room and board fees. The program, which began in the 1990s, offers informational and skill-building programs, guest speakers, and events to educate students about many sexual health aspects, including female orgasm, condoms, and safe sex. The 2013 Sex Week has a Hawaiian theme, “Let’s Get Lei’d.” Events include “Latexology,” which instructs students how and when to use condoms; the second annual Condom Couture Fashion Show, in which students use colored condoms for clothing designs; “I Love Female Orgasm,” presented by Sex Educators Marshall Miller and Maggie Keenan-Bolger; and a drag queen show on Halloween night. All Sex Week events are free except the fashion show, which costs $7 and benefits Face AIDS. Student room and board fees also fund etiquette and diverse cultures trainings, but Sex Week is the most popular event, according to Kyle Hovest, who coordinates student-led events for the Interhall Council, the governing body for 4,500 residence hall students. Charlene Kopchick, assistant dean of students for campus involvement, reported that she did hear concerns from parents, but she viewed Sex Week as a public health issue rather than a values issue. Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Kentucky also had annual Sex Week programs. Ohio University holds the month-long initiative “Romance Responsibility” each February.


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