Sexuality matters

Course description

Students come to college with varying degrees of knowledge and skills to make healthy sexual decisions. Sexuality Matters takes a sex–positive and inclusive approach to comprehensive sexuality education. It also meets many of the educational requirements outlined by Title IX and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act.

Course themes

Knowing how the body works is the first step in sexual health. An unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection (STI) could contribute to added stress or academic struggles. Students reflect on their values and future goals and discuss what strategies fit with their lives.

  • The body, pleasure, and reproduction
  • STIs and safer sex
  • Contraception and pregnancy options

From first dates to breaking up, students learn about the different considerations over the course of a relationship, including how to help themselves or a friend if they recognize an abusive relationship.

  • Differences between healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships
  • Various types of partnerships
  • Meeting partners and establishing boundaries

How to talk about sex and relationships is a skill rarely taught in sex ed. Students practice how to discuss values, boundaries, and desires, as well as how to advocate for themselves and others.

  • Strategies and techniques
  • Locating and evaluating resources and information
  • National perspectives on sexuality education

What values were students raised with, and what do they believe now? How do they describe their sexual identity? Clarifying sexuality–related values and identities can help students act in alignment with who they are.

  • How people form their perspectives on sexuality
  • Types of sexual expression
  • Sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression

Colleges have a moral and legal duty to provide students with safe learning environments, and sexual assault education contributes to this outcome.

  • Definitions, affirmative consent, and dispelling myths
  • Role of alcohol and other substances
  • Reporting and resources
  • Bystander intervention
Opening quotes

Comprehensive education that applies to all bodies and sexualities.

Closing quotes
Opening quotes

Good information in a judgment and influence-free atmosphere.

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Opening quotes

...this course helped me learn that emotional abuse does exist, and that it’s not okay.

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I have gained a stronger desire to stand up for my own and others’ gender, sexual orientation, sexual expression, and sexual identity.

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I have a deeper appreciation for STI testing and pregnancy prevention methods.

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After taking the course,

97% of students reported being confident in communicating values, desires, or boundaries about sex with sexual partners
92% of students reported being confident in developing and maintaining healthy relationships
94% of students reported being confident in making sexual decisions that align with their values, desires, and boundaries

*2014 course evaluation data from the U of MN’s Office of Measurement Services