The World Health Organization describes sexual health as “a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence”. The majority of NYU students are sexually active, and college is a time when many young people first become sexually active. Students frequently enter college without adequate sexual health knowledge, and, subsequently, they often engage in sexual behaviors that place them at increased risk for unintended health outcomes such as pregnancy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is crucial to enhance sexual health resources to improve students’ sexual health, increase safer sex behaviors, and reduce STI and HIV transmission.
This page is intended to be a resource containing suggestions for what you can do to help increase students' sexual health knowledge and better manage their sexual health.
• Attend Safe Zone training to become a visible ally to NYU’s LGBTQ community. Creating a university environment that is sensitive, safe, respectful and inclusive supports and encourages positive interpersonal interactions. Sign up for Safe Zone Training.
• Be knowledgeable about NYU’s sexual health services for students and able to refer them to the appropriate resources when necessary. Visit the NYU Student Health Center website to find out more about specific services or review the Sexual Health Resource Guide, which provides a listing of programs and resources throughout campus for students to manage their own sexual health or to get involved with broader sexual health issues.
• Discuss sexual health issues in the context of the course of study. Students’ knowledge, values, attitudes, and beliefs influence their sexual health decisions and behaviors. Discussions on the evolving societal, cultural, or political views, as well as media influences on issues around gender, sexuality, sexual and reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS, or socio-economic driven health inequalities can be a great opportunity to challenge students’ preconceived notions and perceptions which ultimately can influence their sexual health.
• Discuss current events related to sexuality/sexual health as they may pertain to your course. For example, the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" in the military, gay marriage passed in New York State, mandated coverage for birth control, etc.