Sex Week opens with talk on sexuality and mental health

Paige Leskin, Assistant City Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Students gathered on Thursday night to share their thoughts on the relationship between sexuality and mental health.

About 10 students attended the discussion hosted by mental health advocacy group Northwestern Active Minds in partnership with Sex Week 2014, which will feature guest speakers and other types of programming focused on addressing issues regarding sexual health.

Students talked about certain factors that influence them to make specific sexual choices including daily stresses and societal pressure.

“It depends on the atmosphere,” Weinberg senior Naina Desai said. “With social organizations, there can be pressure with a group mentality to be more sexual than you feel comfortable.”

Attendees noted the choice to participate in or abstain from sexual activities can cause stress. A student brought up an informal survey of NU students, which revealed that around half of those polled considered themselves to be “sexually active.” She said people always overestimate the number of sexually active students, which could make some feel increased pressure to engage in this type of behavior.

Several students praised sex talk on Northwestern campus, noting it was very welcoming for the LGBT community. Participants said this group has to grapple with their sexuality on a daily basis including when making decisions regarding which bathroom to use or when obtaining healthcare.

Weinberg sophomore Ary Hansen said discussion about sexual positivity makes everyone feel more welcomed in their environments.

“Things like Sex Week are educational and make it an open conversation for everyone,” she said. “It makes everyone feel more comfortable.”

Desai agreed with the need for increased dialogue when it comes to sex. She said it is important to emphasize “anti-rape culture,” where sexual partners can freely communicate with each other what they want and when it is time to stop.

To encourage more people to act in a respectful manner regarding sexual activity, Desai said schools should teach sexual health early on when an individual’s ideas and opinions are still being shaped and developed.

“Campus tries to promote sexual health, but people come here with certain perceptions,” she said. “You have to start when you’re growing up.”

In addition to this fireside, other events featured during Sex Week include showings of the NU Burlesque Show and a condom giveaway at the Rock.

E-mail: paigeleskin2017@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @paigeleskin

Comments