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Let’s (Not) Talk About Sex

Condom on a banana. Sex education. (Photo Illustration by Brianna Nash | Collegian)

Sex has historically been a very complex issue in America.

Sex: Referring to biological gender, it formed a basis for mass discrimination against women largely until the civil rights movement (and a case can be made that the fight for women’s equality continues today).

Sex: Referring to sexual intercourse, it puts the United States at a lowly 75th place in a ranking of adolescent fertility rates in the world. Our 15-19 year old demographic has more in common with that of Burundi, a low income developing country, than with Switzerland or Germany.

Sex: Referring to sexual orientation, it again formed a basis for mass discrimination, this time against the LGBT community.

In the past ten years, some issues surrounding sex have changed significantly and others have essentially been stagnant.

Use of Contraceptives in the United States

2005: C.R.E.W.S., Creating Respect, Educating Wellness (by and for) Students, was founded at Colorado State University. The student led group is sponsored by the CSU Health Network and works to educate peers about alcohol, sexual health and tobacco. C.R.E.W.S. is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year.

“It is important for students to feel comfortable in their own skin and to be part of eliminating the stigma around topics encompassing sexual health,” said Annie Ngo, sophomore biology student and C.R.E.W.S. member. “Rams take care of Rams and I feel that C.R.E.W.S. truly emphasizes it.”

2005: Wisconsin governor at the time, Anthony Earl, signed legislation that provided funding for sex education in public schools, repealed restrictions on the sale of nonprescription contraceptives and provided funding for counseling pregnant adolescents.

2005: A high school in Chicago faced controversy when the on campus health clinic was authorized to provide contraceptives to students with parental permission.

2005: According to information obtained by TIME magazine at the time, only one in three teenage girls between 15 and 19 used contraceptives.

2005: FDA commissioner Dr. Lester Crawford delayed a decision to make the morning after pill available over the counter. Crawford’s decision contradicted the advice of FDA scientists and many considered the delay a political move.

2013: The FDA approved the use of Plan B One-Step (the morning after pill) as a nonprescription product for all women of childbearing potential.

2014: The FDA decided to allow generic versions of the morning after pill to be sold over the counter, increasing accessibility by driving the price down. Plan B One-Step could sometimes be $10 more than the generic competitor.

2015: 99% of American women of childbearing age report using some form of contraception at one time or another.

Same Sex Marriage and the LGBTQ community

2005: Our northern neighbor, Canada, legalized same-sex marriage nationwide ten years ago in June 2005.

2013: Canada tackles same-sex divorce when a law passed to allow non-Canadian residents to be divorced if they did not live in Canada (i.e. American couples who did not want to wait around for the U.S. to legalize their marriage).

2015: Almost exactly ten years after Canada, the United States legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in June 2015.



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