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The Whitworthian

The Student News Site of Whitworth University

The Whitworthian

The Student News Site of Whitworth University

The Whitworthian

Generation Action’s “Sex in the Dark” forum promotes sexual education in a light-hearted way

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Students take advantage of free snacks supplied by the Generation Action team.
Dr. Robin Pickering answers a student submitted during Sex in the Dark. | Photos By Thomas Peach and Brandt Hodgeson

As part of their efforts to promote sexual health and well-being, Whitworth’s Generation Action club held a seminar called “Sex in the Dark” on Wednesday, Oct. 27. Students gathered in the Robinson Teaching Theater and asked anonymous questions about topics ranging from STIs to healthy relationships.  

Dr. Robin Pickering from the Health Sciences and Women and Gender Studies Departments and Dr. Kari Nixon from the English department served on the panel that answered students’ questions. Whitworth alums Jade Faletoi from Student Life and Sarah Dixit from Planned Parenthood also weighed in as experts on these topics. 

Generation Action advocates for sexual education, equitable access to healthcare and LGBTQIA+ rights. This is the second time the club has held this event and its members hope to do so again. Club president Emily Marvin said she wants to hold more events like this one in order to facilitate open conversations at Whitworth. 

The club took care to make the environment feel safe and spirited. They dimmed the lights, decked out the theater with Halloween decorations and provided snacks for attendees to enjoy.  

When asked how sexual education fits with Whitworth’s “Big 3”, particularly the no co-habitation rule,  Marvin said, “Whitworth’s policies only speak to sex on campus. Therefore, sex isn’t taboo or shameful. [It’s just that] sex on campus breaks a policy. Sex off-campus isn’t an issue with Whitworth.” 

Marvin also seeks to dispel the myth that talking about sex encourages more risky behavior. “Another thing is talking about sex does not mean people are going to have more sex,” she said. “This is often a logical fallacy made against sex ed curriculums: ‘We talk about it – they will do it!’ No, sex ed is information that everyone should have access to and does not cause people to have sex.” 

Her stance is corroborated by a study by the University of Washington, which found that teens who received a comprehensive sexual education were 60 percent less likely to become pregnant or impregnate someone than those who were not taught or were taught with an abstinence-based curriculum. 

The club takes these numbers into consideration and aims to provide proper sexual education, so that students can make responsible choices. The primary role of the event is to give students a chance to ask their questions in a judgment-free setting. 

Students in attendance were pleased with the content and outcome of the event. “I think it’s super important to have events like these in general, but especially in a Christian school like Whitworth because so many people remain uninformed about really important things,” said freshman Fiona Beattie. “Also, I think it helps to destigmatize conversations around these topics.” 

To learn more about Generation Action, contact Emily Marvin at [email protected] 

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Generation Action’s “Sex in the Dark” forum promotes sexual education in a light-hearted way