Consent-Based Sex Ed Can Prevent Sexual Assault in College

 
 
 

The latest publication from Columbia University’s Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT) suggests that high school sex education may have a preventative effect against sexual assault later on in college. Based on surveys and in-depth interviews of 1,671 students from Columbia University and Barnard College, the research found that students who received formal sex education in school about consent, refusal skills, and methods of birth control before the age of 18 were less likely to experience penetrative sexual assault in college. Alternatively, students who received abstinence-only instruction did not demonstrate significantly reduced sexual assault in their college years. Lead author and professor of Population and Family Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Dr. John Santelli, explains, “the protective impact of refusal skills-based sexuality education, along with previous research showing that a substantial proportion of students have experienced assault before entering college, underlines the importance of complimenting campus-based prevention efforts with earlier refusal skills training.”

For Further Reading

Take a look at Columbia University’s Sex Education Initiative here.

 

Discussion Question

Were you taught about consent and sex refusal skills in your sex education classes?

 

Action Item

Talk to your friends and family who are in high school and ask them about the quality of their school’s sex education classes.

 
 

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