Trojan: WVU No. 15 in sexual health
Published: Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 01:10
West Virginia University ranked 15 out of 141 colleges nationwide on the 2010 Trojan Sexual Health Report Card conducted by Sperling's BestPlaces Research Company.
The rankings serve as a way for students and staff at WVU to see how the University makes progress toward sexual health compared to other colleges.
The research does not look at sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases but bases it off of the resources that are provided to students on sexual health, said Bert Sperling, president of Sperling's BestPlaces.
This is the fifth year for the survey, which looks at 12 categories, such as health center hours, availability of sexual awareness programs, contraception and condom availability and cost, HIV testing and cost, and the availability of sexual assault programs.
"The more information students receive to be healthy is better for them," Sperling said. "They can make their own decisions regarding sexual health and their activities."
It is difficult for students to see what issues colleges are facing in terms of sexual health, so the research gives them an opportunity to compare colleges, he said.
WVU ranked 20 on the 2009 Trojan Sexual Health Report Card, so it is encouraging to see the University has moved higher, said Sera Mathew, WELL WVU Wellness and Health Promotion graduate assistant.
Students care about their health and respond to education programs they can relate to, she said.
"WELL WVU offers a wide range of services on campus like the Condom Caravan, STD testing and counseling, family planning services and sexual assault prevention education," Mathew said.
In addition, the rankings not only help students but also parents, Sperling said.
"By seeing this, they know their kids are getting the care they need," he said.
Parents and students care about sexual health at campuses, especially when first applying, Mathew said.
"WELL WVU is working towards making this campus healthier and to ensure students have a wide range of
educational resources available to them," she said. "The Trojan Sexual Health Report Card is definitely a step in the right direction for us."
The report card has helped health centers and administration over the years by seeing what their college needs to fix in order to practice safer sexual health, Sperling said.
"Students have used the Sexual Health Report Card to go to their administration and say we don't feel we are getting the information and services we need to take care of themselves," he said.
The report card also helps administrations get an indicator of how their students feel about sexual health, Sperling said.
"Some students feel sex is only a matter with married couples," he said. "The report card shows what happens to students who don't believe that, and that reflects what amount of information is being given to the students."