University community confronts sexual issues: Survey reveals students’ sexual attitudes

With the recent increase in the number of AIDS and HIV cases among young adults, the use of condoms or other forms of protection has become imperative, although a mind boggling process given the array of options available. / photo illustration by Brian Murphy
With the recent increase in the number of AIDS and HIV cases among young adults, the use of condoms or other forms of protection has become imperative, although a mind boggling process given the array of options available. / photo illustration by Brian Murphy

by Rosie Sinapi
Editor in Chief

Three million young adults contract a sexually transmitted disease each year. Prompted by these numbers, the Campus Times polled ULV students, asking them about their sexual habits. The survey of 155 students (below) was given during the afternoon in Davenport Dining Hall and the Student Center and focused on the traditional undergraduate population.

A majority of ULV students surveyed, 73.6 percent, have engaged in sexual activity.

And despite the fact that Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the sixth-leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds and the rate of death from AIDS among young adults is rapidly growing, the concern for safer sex has not spilled over onto the campus.

While 91 percent of students said they were monogamous, the poll also showed that a majority of students engaged in casual sex outside of a relationship (51.7 percent).

More than half the students polled had engaged in unprotected sex (50.4 percent). With all this sex, only 65.5 percent felt at risk for contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Some respondents (80.6 percent) commented that they did not feel at risk because they had questioned their partners about their background. Only 25 percent of respondents had been tested for AIDS.

Where are all these students having sexual intercourse?

Most students polled are engaging in these activities in their residence halls. Of those living on campus, 65 percent said they had violated the existing co-habitation policy at least once, while a number of them claim to be doing it on a regular basis.

Editorial Director Amy Borer, Features Editor Martha I. Fernandez and Staff Writer Heather Morales also contributed to this story.

Survey Results

1) Are you currently in a relationship?
Yes: 54%
No: 46%

2) If so, how long have you been in this relationship?
under 1 semester: 22.8%
1 semester: 7.6%
6 months-1 year: 19%
1 year-2 years: 29%
3-5 years: 20.3%
Over 5 years: 1.3%

3) Is the person you date a ULV student?
Yes: 30.6%
No: 69.4%

4) Where did you meet your current boyfriend or girlfriend?
Casual Meeting: 32.3%
Blind Date: 3%
Fixed up: 3.9%
Class: 13.7%
Work: 6.9%
Home: 2%
Other: 38.2%

5) Does being on a small campus affect:
Who you date?
Yes: 72.5%
No: 27.5%
Why you date?
Yes: 53.5%
No: 46.5%
Frequency of dates?
Yes: 74.1%
No: 24.9%
Whether to engage in sexual behavior?
Yes: 50%
No: 50%

6) Have you had sexual intercourse?
Yes: 73.6%
No: 26.4%

6a) If yes, has it been within a relationship?
Yes: 90%
No: 10%
If so, how many times?
1-2: 31.8%
3-5: 22%
6-10: 4.8%
More than 10: 41.4%
Has it been outside a relationship?
Yes: 51.7%
No: 48.3%
If so, how many times?
1-2: 51.7%
3-5: 29%
More than 5: 19.3%
Do you practice safe sex?
Always: 49.6%
Most of the time: 36.9%
Once in a while: 5.4%
Never: 8.1%
Are you monogamous?
Yes: 79.4%
No: 21.6%
How many times a month do you
have sex?
1-2: 24.4%
3-5: 26.8%
6-10: 18.3%
More than 10: 30.5%

6b) If no, why do you abstain from sex?
Religious reasons: 19.7%
Moral reasons: 33.4%
Parental reasons: 6.5%
Fear of STDs or AIDS: 22.4%
Other: 18%

7) Do you plan to wait until marriage?
Yes: 28.1%
No: 71.9%

8) Have you cheated on your boyfriend or girlfriend?
Yes: 24%
No: 76%

9) How many sexual partners have you had?
1-2: 41%
3-5: 28.4%
6-10: 15.9%
More than 10: 14.7%

10) In the past, how long have you waited to engage in sexual intercourse?
First Date: 8.5%
Within a month: 26.6%
Within two months: 27.6%
Other: 37.3%

11) If you live on campus, have you ever violated the cohabitation policy?
Yes: 65.4%
No: 34.6%

12) Do you use birth control?
Yes: 71%
No: 29%
If so, what type?
Condom: 58.5%
Pill: 36.9%
Norplant: 3.1%
Sponge: 1.5%

13) Were you protected for your last sexual encounter?
Yes: 68.6%
No: 31.4%

14) Do you feel at risk for contracting a sexual disease?
Yes: 34.5%
No: 65.5%

15) Have you ever had:
STD: 2.6%
Unwanted pregnancy: 5.8%
Abortion: 3.2%

16) Which of the following affects your sexual/intimacy behavior?
Contracting an STD: 28.1%
Pregnancy prevention: 26.1%
Length of relationship: 23.3%
Religious/personal beliefs: 18.8%
Other: 3.7%

17) Do you question your partner about his/her sexual history?
Yes: 80.6%
No: 19.4%

18) Have you been tested for HIV?
Yes: 25.7%
No: 74.3%

18a) If yes, how many times?
1-2: 83.3%
3-4: 11.9%
More than 4: 4.8%

18b) If no, do you plan to be tested?
Yes: 55.7%
No: 44.3%

Men: 38.9%
Women: 61.1%

18 and under: 12.4%
19-21: 66.6%
22-25: 17.3%
25 plus: 3.7%

Total respondents: 155

*Note: The survey results do not take into account the respondents’ marital status or sexual orientation.

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