Sex Week Aims to Reduce Stigmas and Raise Awareness

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Sex Week Aims to Reduce Stigmas and Raise Awareness

Chris Ayers

Chris Ayers

Chris Ayers

Chris Ayers

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When you hear the word ‘sex,’ what do you think of? Do you think of darkened rooms or secret acts? Do you tend to shy away from the word?

Students for Choice, a group organized through ASUU and supported by Planned Parenthood, wants to change these notions of being ashamed of sex, what it is and how it should be treated. They plan on doing so through the second annual Sex Week, which begins today and continues throughout the week.

Kiman Kaur, the president of Students for Choice, said the purpose of the week is to raise awareness about reproductive justice by deconstructing reproductive oppression and advocating for people’s right to control their bodies, families and lives. They want to help people learn and dismantle social stigmas and legal roadblocks that prevent people from having complete autonomy over themselves.

“Students for Choice is hoping that this week will reduce the stigma around sex, provide students with healthy reproductive services and resources, and also create opportunities for students and faculty to engage with the reproductive justice framework,” Kaur said.

Each day features an event aiming to improve students’ understanding of the definition of consent, how to have safe sex and things to think about when considering sexual activity.

“Students and faculty should attend events during Sex Week to engage in a larger conversation on campus about consent and reproductive justice,” Kaur said. “Sex Week was intentionally organized right before the Valentine’s Day weekend, so students could access free condoms and safe sex that they may or may not use during the weekend.”

In addition to this information, Students for Choice will hand out raffle tickets at the events for a chance to win one year’s worth of free contraception.

Kaur believes Sex Week is important especially in Utah because the state’s current education system fails to empower students to embrace and love their sexuality.

“It’s unproductive to offer abstinence only education because abstinence doesn’t work for everyone,” Kaur said. “I think that Utah needs to implement a more inclusive and intersectional sex education program.”

Monday, Feb. 8

Reproductive Justice 101 Workshop, Union Den

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Medical Students for Choice, a group from the U’s med school, is holding an interactive workshop discussing reproductive justice from a medical point of view.

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Sex and Consent: Embrace the Awkward

Student Life Center, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

No matter how weird it may feel to talk about sex, the Center for Student Wellness wants to remind you to be up front and honest before doing anything. Explicitly verbal consent is incredibly important and they want to help you know how to go about asking for it.

 

Wednesday, Feb. 10

Hip Hop and Reproductive Justice: Love, Pleasure, and Self-Image

Social Work Bldg. Room 155 A; 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Colored Girls Hustle will be at the U to discuss this intersectional hip hop group’s belief that health and pleasure are human rights. They use hip hop to affirm their bodies and help others do the same. This workshop will help students acknowledge that and learn how to love their best selves. As the duo says, “We are all worthy of fully embodied lives.”

In addition to speaking in the afternoon, Colored Girls Hustle will be performing later in the evening in the Social Work Auditorium from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 11:

Make Your Own Safe Sex Kit

Union, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Learn about safe sex and prepare your own safe sex kit because you never know when one could come in handy.

Free HIV/STD Testing

Union Ballroom, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Always get tested prior to engaging in sexual activity; this is an important step to protect yourself and your partner.

Planned Parenthood Ambassador Training

Westminster College, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Planned Parenthood often gets a bad rap from anti-abortion advocates — this opportunity is to help those interested in reproductive health and justice to learn how to talk about these issues while learning what the organization is really about.

For updated info on the week’s activities, visit facebook.com/studentsforchoiceutah/?fref=ts.

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