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Master's Professional Reports Abstract



Texas Universities and Sexual Risk-Taking: Cause for Concern?
Andrews, Jennifer Erin.
REPORT 2003 AN2642 Public Affairs Library

There are more than 25 diseases spread through sexual activity. Efforts to address these sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), as well as unintended pregnancy, are most often directed at high school students; however, college students are exhibiting markedly more sexual risk behaviors than high school students, and thus are at a greater risk for negative health consequences. Additionally, rates of unintended pregnancy among persons 18-24 years are higher than for any other age group. Because so many young adults pursue higher education, colleges and universities are important settings for reducing health risk behaviors. This report examines the current practices and specific role of the university in preventing or minimizing sexual risk-taking behaviors among students. In order to understand each university's approach to student sexual risk-taking more thoroughly, an in-depth description of the universities policies, programs, and curriculum is provided. Survey findings point to needed improvements in six key areas: providing administrative support, encouraging STD screening and monitoring trends, hiring and supporting health educators, providing complete and accurate information to students, organizing a coordinated effort, and evaluating all relevant policies, programs and curriculum.