BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (February 4, 2015) – College students are being asked questions about condom use, sexual assaults, and birth control as part of a campus sexual health survey. The survey is a first of its kind for Indiana University.
“What’s new about this is, it’s not focused one any one specific thing. For example, unintended pregnancies, sexual assaults but really asks about the full gamut of sexual health issues,” explains Dr. Debby Herbenick, associate professor at IU’s School of Public Health.
The survey was emailed out to nearly 25,000 randomly chosen students. The survey is optional and doesn’t ask for names. Depending on how an individual student answers some of the questions the survey can be between 50-60 questions.
Some multiple choice questions on the survey include: How long have you been dating or in a relationship? How much do you trust this person? How important is sex to your relationship with this person?
If a student answers a question indicating that they have been sexually assaulted he or she will be asked further questions such as: Who have you told about this experience? Have you ever avoided enrolling in a college course, or dropped a class, because you didn’t want to see someone who had sexually assaulted or raped you?
The purpose of the survey is to get a better feel for the students and the issues they are facing. “We want to know what we are doing well here on campus and what we can do better to help serve the students,” explains Dr. Herbenick.
Dr. Herbenick says so far they’ve gotten a good return rate on the surveys.
The students we talked with felt if answering some questions about sex helped the school help the students then they thought it was worth it. “I think it’s reasonable. They didn’t force it on anybody. It’s just like take the survey cool, right?” explains Carl Factora, an IU student.
Once all the results are collected the data will be shared with students, faculty and staff at the health center and the School of Public Health.
Departments can use the results to make any changes to classes or campus programs.