Sexual Wellness

Facts

  • 52% of ASU students reported they had one sexual partner during the last 12 months.
  • 28% of ASU students reported they did not have any sexual partners during the last 12 months.
  • 50% of ASU students reported they have been tested for sexually transmitted infections at least once.
  • 30% of ASU students reported intimate relationships had been difficult to handle during the last 12 months.
  • 10% of ASU students reported that relationship difficulties had a negative impact on their academic performance in the last year.

Sources: American College Health Association. American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment: Arizona State University Spring 2017. Baltimore: American College Health Association; Spring 2017 (n=2,096).

Basic Information

Basic Information

The World Health Organization defines sexual health as a state of physical, mental and social well-being 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.

Source: World Health Organization Health Topics: Sexual Health.

Healthy sexuality is linked to emotional, social, cultural and physical aspects of wellness. It encompasses values, attitudes, feelings, interactions and behaviors. Those who have a good understanding and desire for sexual wellness will be more likely to approach sexual interactions and relationships in a consensual, respectful and informed way.

Source: National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 2012. An overview of healthy sexuality and sexual violence prevention.

Characteristics of Sexual Wellness:

  • Appreciating your own body.
  • Expressing love and intimacy in appropriate ways.
  • Developing and maintaining meaningful relationships.
  • Feeling confident in your ability to set appropriate boundaries
  • Exhibiting skills that enhance personal relationships.
  • Identifying and living according to your own values.
  • Demonstrating effective decision-making.
  • Taking responsibility for your own behavior.
  • Communicating effectively with family, peers, and romantic partners.
  • Practicing health-promoting behaviors, such as regular check-ups, breast and testicular self-exam, and early identification of potential problems.
  • Seeking information about reproductive health as needed.
  • Using contraception effectively to avoid unintended pregnancy.
  • Avoiding contracting or transmitting a sexually transmitted disease, including HIV.
  • Demonstrating respect for people with different sexual values, sexual orientation and gender identities.

Adapted with permission from: Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. (2004). Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, 3rd Edition pp 16-17.

Knowledge Empowers Action

Are you sexually active, or do you plan to be sexually active someday? If so, it is important that you take time to enhance your knowledge and skills.

  • Learn what you can do to protect yourself and your partner from contracting sexually transmitted infections/diseases or becoming pregnant.
  • Communicate about relationship values and use of contraception.
    • Examine your values. How will you communicate about your values, intentions, and contraceptive/ barrier choices? Practice how you will communicate your decisions with your partner.
  • Understand the meaning of consent.

What is Consent?

Consent is:

  • Mutual: partners each agree to the activities
  • Voluntary: without coercion or force, freely willing to participate
  • Clear: communicated in such a way that there is no question of consent
  • Active: communicated with each activity, ongoing
  • Enthusiastic: An affirmative and positive "yes"
  • Sober: conscious, awake, participatory. By legal definition a person must be sober in order to give valid consent to sex.

Keep in mind that alcohol makes it difficult to communicate about sexual intentions. Alcohol makes it difficult to interpret someone else’s intentions and to clearly communicate your own intentions.

Self-evaluation

Self-evaluation

Identify your sexual wellness strengths and areas you would like to improve. Rate yourself on the following sexual wellness characteristics using this scale:

1 = Never
2 = Rarely
3 = Sometimes
4 = Often
5 = Almost always

During the past 12 months, how often did you:

  1. Appreciate your body.
  2. Express love and intimacy in appropriate ways.
  3. Develop and maintain meaningful relationships.
  4. Feel confident in your ability to set appropriate boundaries
  5. Demonstrate skills that enhance personal relationships.
  6. Identify and live according to my values.
  7. Demonstrate effective decision-making.
  8. Take responsibility for my own behavior.
  9. Communicate effectively with family, peers, and romantic partners.
  10. Practice health-promoting behaviors, including regular check-ups, breast and testicular self-exam, and early identification of potential problems.
  11. Seek out information about reproductive health.
  12. Use contraception effectively to avoid unintended pregnancy.
  13. Avoid contracting or transmitting a sexually transmitted disease, including HIV.
  14. Demonstrate respect for people with different sexual values, sexual orientation and gender identities.

 

Adapted with permission from: Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. (2004). Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, 3rd Edition pp 16-17.

How to help a friend

How to help a friend

You can help a friend by:

  • Listening as they sort through their personal values about sex and relationships.
  • Supporting their decisions about sexuality, abstinence, sexual orientation, gender identity and values.
  • Sharing information about sexual wellness characteristics from this webpage.
  • Informing them of resources such as:
    • ASU Health Services, where they can confidentially discuss contraception and barrier protection with a health care provider.
    • ASU Counseling Services where they can confidentially discuss their values and experiences.

resources

Programs and Activities

Programs and Activities

Each year ASU students host Sexual Wellness Week, sponsored by the ASU student organization known by the same name: Sexual Wellness Week.

Resources

Resources

The sexual health assessment is a useful tool to assist you in determining how you can stay safe in your intimate relationships.  The questionnaire takes less than 3 minutes to complete, and provides you with a score that determines your risk of sexually transmitted infection (STIs). Participation in this survey is completely anonymous.

 ASU Health Services provides STI testing to students. 

Sexually transmitted infections are infections that are passed from one partner to another during any form of sexual activity. Some infections have symptoms while others may not. If you are sexually active, it is recommended you get tested and know your status.

Testing can be scheduled with a provider to answer your questions and determine which tests best meet your needs or performed on a walk-in basis (without first meeting with a healthcare provider).

Walk-in testing is available at ASU Health Services locations for the following tests:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • HIV
  • Syphilis

For more information on STI causes, symptoms, and treatment options, please visit the patient portal or contact ASU Health Services provider at 480-965-3349.