The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday May 26th

Pit Talk

Sexy students seek health services

Let’s talk about sex.

The University recently received a ranking of 31st out of 140 schools in terms of sexual health. 

The ranking comes from the 2014 Trojan Sexual Health Report Card, completed by the independent research firm Sperling’s BestPlaces. Since last year’s ranking, the University has risen from 37th to 31st. 

In contrast, a 2012 list of schools with the best sex life, released by Playboy Magazine, ranked the University as number one. This raises the question of whether or not the sexiest school has adequate sexual health resources. 

Bert Sperling, creator of Sperling’s BestPlaces, said there are 10 categories that go into scoring each school. The criteria include the availability of the student health center —  its hours, whether it allows drop-ins, etc., —  as well as the availability of male and female contraceptives, HIV/STI testing and the presence of different resources on sexual health on the campus health.

Information on sexual assault and outreach programs and peer groups provided by the student health center are also taken into account. 

“31st is really very good,” Sperling said. "That would be like a B+.”

Sperling said since beginning the survey nine years ago, there has been a compression of scores, meaning there is less of a gap between the higher and lower ranked schools than in previous years. 

“Our sexual health survey helped raise awareness and set a new standard,” Sperling said.

Diana Sanchez, program assistant for UNC Student Wellness, and Brittany O’Malley, assistant director of Health Promotion & Prevention Initiatives, said in an email that it is difficult to compare the two standings, because different factors went into each evaluation. 

“Because the rankings are so different, it is not surprising that there would be different results,” they said.

According to the Playboy list, “Tarheel women possess a trio of virtues: They’re plentiful (outnumbering male students 10 to seven), they’re beautiful (ranking among the best-looking, according to student-generated website College Prowler), and they’re progressive.” 

Sanchez and O’Malley commented on this. 

“The Playboy ranking appears to be subjective, and include a very narrow perspective of “sex” (i.e., from the viewpoint of heterosexual males),” they said.

If this is the case, the Playboy list cannot be considered scientific or necessarily valid.

Student Becca Rodan said she felt satisfied with the way the University handled sexual health services. 

“I never really felt underwhelmed by the sexual health services that they provided,” Rodan said.

Rodan mentioned an encounter she had with an employee at Campus Health.

“She made sure I knew about certain tests or vaccines I might not have known about before,” she said. 

Sanchez and O’Malley said they wanted to make sure, regardless of the rankings, that students have ample access to various sexual health services.

“While it’s unclear exactly how to interpret the Trojan results, Student Wellness is always working to provide quality, up to date, evidence based sexual health education services and resources as accessible and convenient to students as possible.”

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