Apr 072009

With warm weather and summer quickly approaching, the time to party carefree is almost here. But according to CSU’s Wellness Zone there’s more to getting drunk and hooking up than many students might think.

CSU is hosting Sexual Health and Alcohol Education this week at the Wellness Zone to increase student awareness of the risks and implications of mixing sex with alcohol.

“This week is put into place because students are always asking for current, accurate information from a source they trust,” said Lynn Kalert, a nurse at Hartshorn Health Center.

“It’s good to put (sex and alcohol awareness) into (student) view even if they aren’t asking for it. It’s a good thing to keep in mind,” said Sagarika Sarma, a graduate assistant at the Wellness Zone.

Pam McCracken, the director of University Counseling stressed that having sex while under the influence of alcohol can have many legal difficulties.

“I think that simply being intoxicated renders you incapable of giving consent. It’s important for students to keep that in mind,” McCracken said.

“If you aren’t sober, you aren’t able to communicate, understand and know what’s going on,” she said. “The level of being able to make those decisions is impaired and could lead to legal complications and regrets.”

According to a Wellness Zone handout:

“As many as 70 percent of college students admit to having engaged in sexual activity primarily as a result of being under the influence of alcohol, or to having sex they wouldn’t have had if they were sober.

90 percent of all campus rapes occur when alcohol has been used by either the assailant or the victim.

At least one out of five college students abandons safe sex practices when they’re drunk, even if they do protect themselves when they’re sober.

One in twelve college males admit to having committed acts that meet the legal definition of rape or acquaintance rape.

55 percent of female students and 75 percent of male students involved in acquaintance rape admit to having been drinking or using drugs when the incident occurred.

60 percent of college women who are infected with STDs, including genital herpes and AIDS, report that they were under the influence of alcohol at the time they had intercourse with the infected person.”

With statistics like this, it is easy to see that sex and alcohol are not a good mix.

“Sex and alcohol are like oil and water. The two shouldn’t really be mixed. This week aims at heightening the awareness and letting people know what’s going on,” McCracken said. “(Safe sex and alcohol) is an oxymoron; they don’t go together, just skip it.”

Not only do the risks of sexual activity increase while under the influence, but Jacqueline Voss, a clinical psychologist for CSU’s counseling center and certified sex educator, said performance and satisfaction are also compromised.

Voss said that it is harder for a male to get an erection or for a woman to reach orgasm when impaired by drugs or alcohol.

“It can lead to less satisfying sex because it lowers people’s ambitions and it lowers people’s performance,” Voss said. “People are more likely to have sex and make poor decisions when they are high or under the influence of alcohol. They are less likely to use protections and it’s not a good idea.”

For more information on sex and alcohol education, students may stop by the Wellness Zone in the Lory Student Center.

Staff Writer Justyna Tomtas can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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