Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 27, No. 6. 1964.
Sexual 'Anarchy' Unwise?
Sexual 'Anarchy' Unwise?
The Health Service has been asked, by a student interviewer, to make some comment on the establishment of facilities for sex education and/or birth control centres in the university.
It is unfortunate that a relatively minor field of our interest should be given prominence in the early days of the Health Service. However, if the students wish for an expression it is our responsibility to meet their inquiry.
Adult sex education is generally regarded as being an instruction in sex attitudes and the relationship between the sexes.
Those who offer this instruction are usually doctors interested in health education, psychotherapists, and the clergy.
The part taken by the doctor is usually that of "dispensing information"—the biological functions of sex and the anatomy and physiology of the reproductive systems etc
The psychotherapist and the clergy are interested mainly in affected attitudes towards sex and remedial work.
Their part in sex education is therefore the explaining and encouragement of normal attitudes to sex and the development of a balanced and integrated personality.
These are the basic areas of instruction. In the Student Welfare Service we now have the personnel to give this instruction.
Before introducing any programme of sex education, the team must evaluate objectively what we hope to accomplish, and determine the need and the desire for such an education.
Any discussion among ourselves must be preceded by a statement to the student body admitting the uncertainties, and at limes confusion that exists among very experienced and capable educators in this Field. From here, the student may well question whether we can accomplish a rational and realistic goal. This should be the challenge. After discussion among ourselves, if we are unable to meet this challenge, then we should foster the present existing facilities, rather than proceed on with a limited programme of sex education, restricted by the uncertainties and confusion that hamper the more experienced.
From reports of the health problems in overseas universities, sex would not appear to be a health problem among any great number of students. Therefore, before we divert too much effort and time to this field, should we not be encouraging the greater problems of student health (adequate housing, adequate study facilities, safety in sport, environment and occupational health etc.). This is why there should be a sober assessment. I am no obscurant, but a firm believer in health education in all fields of student life and would be enthusiastic for a discussion with other welfare officers who may consider there is merit in introducing a programme of adult sex education in our university.
Birth Control Centres
How' can we help avert some of the tragedies that are seen in young adult women. The unmarried mother whose boyfriend was physically attractive, persuasive but thoroughly irresponsible and uncompromising? Is the setting up of birth control centres going to be of any assistance? There are a small number of people in our community, and outside the university, who believe that a greater degree of sexual freedom will make for more satisfying living. This they firmly believe, and demand the "pill." But when we face all the issues we must appreciate that the family is the basic unit Of our society, and any measure which would encourage promiscuity, would help only to annihilate this basic unit. Only those; who are married with children can appreciate the full value of this essential unit.
The sexual anarchists have few values and few responsibilities. Would we be wise in looking to them for assurance and guidance. The student health doctors consider it is outside their province to set up a birth control centre at this university.
Such a centre would surely negate any positive contribution in student health that we can achieve, by creating little more than anxiety, and uncertainly among most students, and an avenue for redress for the irresponsible few.