College Students Explain Why Sex Week Events Matter

On many college campuses, thousands of students gather each spring for a week of discussing sex.

The idea of holding Sex Week started within the Ivy League and has steadily increased its presence on college campuses across the country in recent years at both private and public universities. The various forums serve as a site for students to discuss sex safety and advice, sexual health and sexual identities.

"I think it's so important," Samantha Johnson, a sex columnist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said on HuffPost Live Friday. "It's important all year round, right, but I think that idea that college campuses and college being a site of sexual exploration and a time of development in our life -- it's really important to just put the message out there."

A student sexual health organization at UW-Madison called Sex Out Loud hosted a Sexual Health Fest last week on campus.

While students nationwide visibly appreciate the offering, the same can't be said of various conservative groups, who have openly spoken out in disapproval. This year, for example, Tennessee lawmakers pushed legislation designed to limit or prevent the ability of public colleges to host Sex Week events. Critics frequently point to more light-hearted portions of Sex Week like condom scavenger hunts.

But students contend those opponents are missing the point.

"It's really just to get a message of sex positivity, body positivity, 'knowledge is power' sort of messages out," Johnson said of these sort of events. "Really to let people know that these are okay questions to ask, there are people on campus that have the answers to them and there are people on campus to talk to about. I think that when there's silence on campus about sexuality and sexual health, that's when we see STIs in our community."

Watch the clip above to hear more about what sex columnists had to say about campus sex week, and watch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

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