Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quick hit: Princeton is the 61st most sexually healthy campus?

A friend of mine sent just me a link to this new survey by (of all people) Trojan Condoms. Apparently Princeton ranks 61st among American college campuses in terms of sexual health resources. Their criteria? Student opinion of the health center is important, as is the availability of free or at cost condoms or birth control. But some of the criteria are also pretty vague, like "separate sexual awareness program" (what?) and "lecture/outreach programs," which are apparently different from "student peer groups" and "sexual assault programs."

Although I would definitely not actively criticize the resources that Princeton offers its students, there is a lot more that the university could be doing (starting with providing more forms of subsidized birth control and promoting and subsidizing more forms of contraceptives for women who may not want to go on the pill). There is also a significant silence around sexual assault, one that is incredibly difficult to break, despite the best efforts of the SHARE program.

The schools that are more "sexually healthy" than Princeton include Columbia, Brown and Yale. I have no idea how Trojan collected its data or conducted its research for this report, which inevitably seems more like an ad for Trojan than anything else (did you know that we could hire the Trojan Evolve Bus to come to campus? Let's do that right now!). But it does raise some interesting questions for me about how you measure a campus' sexual health or sexual health resources, and how we at Princeton stack up against other schools.

I don't have an answer (and I'm not satisfied with Trojan's), so I'm throwing it out to you. What do you think of Princeton's sexual health resources? Are there things the university could be doing better? And are there important factors that this survey left out?

Thanks to Natieka for the tip!

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