We are all adults on this campus and it is a reality that adults have sex. If you listen to the band Kings of Leon you may have recognized the title of this article. Truth is that sex is, in fact, on fire. It is and has always been a hot topic in society. What does that mean for America’s young people? How is sex affecting minority communities? Is sex bad? These are a few of the many questions that pass through the minds of young adults and being on a college campus only intensifies these interests.

It seems to methat more people are starting to shy away from abstinence only sex education in public schools. I find this to be helpful, but a significant number of people would disagree. I believe that having proper sex education in school (that is not just focused on abstinence) will better prepare American youth for healthier and safer adult lives. Having helpful sex education can have a positive impact on how one conducts themselves in college. It is false to think that sex education is out to make youth have sex and engage in wild behavior. It is here to help make better choices about how to live their lives. In the fifth grade a “Grow and Changes” class was brought to our attention. At the time I was not in a very productive living environment so this class was the only way I could learn about how my body was changing. Not talking about sex hurts more than it helps.

As one moves on into the college years, I believe it is easy to have a warped sense of what sex is. Movies and television do a wonderful job of making sex look like the most pleasurable thing on the planet. Although entertainment’s main purpose is to fabricate and heighten sex, the entertainment industry does a horrible job of educating people about sex.  I believe people come to college with all of these misconceptions when engaging in sexual activities. I may be wrong, but I do not believe sex is all about smooth jazz and never ending orgasms. From talking to different individuals I have heard that sex, especially the first time is awkward and a bit painful. Although in the movies everyone is a sex god. This is absolutely false.

The use of contraception may be old news, but it is definitely not bad news.  I’m sure the “protect yourself” or “wrap it up” speeches are getting boring, but they are needed. If people were being smart about sex I don’t think we would still be talking about it as much. The truth is that STDs are real and any human who engages in a sexual act can get one. Plain and simple. Don’t kid yourself with the “It won’t happen to me” talk, you may get a rude awakening.  Minority groups are especially at risk. Minority youth do not receive adequate sexual education and in return reach out to their friends and the media to learn about sex.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that the rate of Chlamydia among African Americans in the United States was more than eight times that among whites. This means that the rate of Chlamydia among black women was more than seven times higher than the rate among white women and more than 11 times higher for black men than that among white men.  Approximately 70% of the total number of reported cases of gonorrhea occurred among African Americans. As far as Syphilis goes, the rate among black women was 14 times higher than that among white women. At the same time, the rate in black men has increased in recent years as rates of disease have increased.  HIV positivity among persons tested for HIV was highest in black men who have sex with men. HIV positivity was 8% in blacks (who make up 13% of the population), and 5% in Hispanics. This is a major American problem.

African Americans need to wake up and realize that sex is a serious issue. If you have unprotected sex there could be consequences. I am in no way saying don’t have sex. I am saying be smart about how you do it and who you do it with. Also, do not think just because you are heterosexual you cannot get an STD. The LGBT community should not be stigmatized as disease ridden. It is not an issue of sexual orientation, but an issue of humanity.  So before you have sex think about what you want out of it. Use the proper contraception (condoms, birth control pills etc.) and limit your sexual partners. Get to know who you are sleeping with and make sure you can trust them. If you have any questions or concerns that involve sex go to the Student Health Center. There are many informative pamphlets and people to talk to. Don’t put your life at risk for the sake of unprotected sex.