Sexual Responsibility on Campus

By Fields, Cheryl D. | Black Issues in Higher Education, January 31, 2002 | Go to article overview

Sexual Responsibility on Campus

Fields, Cheryl D., Black Issues in Higher Education

Institutions take a closer look at their role in today's sexually tolerant environment.

When Dr. Iverson Bell first came to Morehouse College as a freshman in 1969, the campus code of conduct regarding mingling with students of the opposite sex was fairly rigid. "The era of suits and ties was over by then, but we still had strict behaviors," says the Morehouse alumnus. At the time, Bell's future wife was a Spelman student, and he recalls that it wasn't until they were both upper classmen that he saw the inside of her dorm room.

Today, Bell is a psychiatrist who heads the counseling team at the Morehouse Wellness Center. Included among his duties is the task of providing students counsel and guidance on sexual health issues.

"It is not that the morality or the mores are that much different," he says, comparing today's student culture to that of his youth. But "people are more open."

Sexual expression has been a significant theme in youth culture for generations. Today, however, sexually explicit content is the cornerstone of youth-oriented music, their approach to style and fashion, radio, television and film, the music video culture, and cyberspace. Not only do students, therefore, appear more "open" in their attitudes, their behaviors also are more openly varied than they once were, encompassing celibacy as well as heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual relationships. Those who choose to be sexually active face the challenge of protecting themselves from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Many students also need support coming to terms with their sexual identity.

Contrary to the "don't do it, and if you do, don't get caught" days of old, when the bulk of sexual health resources on campus focused on pregnancy prevention or "family planning," today's post-- secondary institutions offer an array of student support services focusing on sexual health and sexual responsibility. These programs range from the distribution of condoms, birth control and emergency contraception to prevention of sexually transmitted disease and workshops on appropriate relationship behavior and protection against sexual assault. Some schools are even beginning to reach out to a group the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies as "men having sex with men" or MSWM, which includes males who may not embrace a gay lifestyle, but who engage in homosexual activity. Experts in the field consider these types of services an essential part of ensuring the overall well-being of the campus community.

In the midst of all this activity, there is surprisingly little in the way of national research and data available depicting what percentage of college students are sexually active, how their behaviors may or may not differ from those of non-college students in similar age brackets, and what the consequences of student behaviors are for them and the institutions they attend. For these reasons, it is difficult to accurately determine how the sexual activity of today's college students compares to that of previous generations. Among the information that is available, most is not disaggregated by race, and there appears to be little information comparing the levels of service provided from campus to campus or examining which segments of the student population are accessing these services. This dearth of information presents a challenge for those in the higher education and health care communities who are charged with designing, administering and assessing services to meet students' sexual health needs.

One useful source of information about the sexual behaviors of college students is the National College Health Assessment (NCHA), sponsored by the American College Health Association (ACHA) and directed by Dr. Victor Leino. Roughly 1,000 postsecondary institutions are members of the ACHA and since 1998, the organization has conducted semiannual surveys inquiring about the health status of American college students. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Sexual Responsibility on Campus


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.