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Modules will include information about using protection, consent, and sexually transmitted infections.

Credit: Annie Luo

Campus Health will launch a new six-week online sexual education program to provide Penn students with information and resources about sexual health and intimate relationships.

College junior and member of the Student Health Advisory Board Simran Chan said the program will send out a PDF module each week that will focus on topics such as protection, consent, and sexually transmitted infections. Associate Director of Campus Health Rebecca Huxta said registration for the sex ed program will end on Feb. 17 and the first module of the online program will be sent out by Feb. 19. 

“The lessons are anywhere from two to four pages, and that way students are able to do it on their own time,” Huxta said. “Each week they are going to get a different topic related to sexual health.” 

The Student Health Advisory Board, made up of undergraduate and graduate students from all schools, and Campus Health collaborated for six months to develop the project. Before its launch, members of the board went through the modules of the program to offer student input, such as prioritizing a sex-positive message.

Director of Campus Health Ashlee Halbritter said sexual education is one of the most highly requested health education program by students.

Chan said she thinks the program will be especially helpful for students who may be uncomfortable asking about sexual health in public settings, or who find the subject taboo.

“I think this program does a great job at being a sex-positive resource," she said.

According to Halbritter, the LGBT Center, Penn Women’s Center, and Penn Violence Prevention also helped design and implement the program, in addition to ensuring it is inclusive of all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and cultural and religious differences. 

“We really wanted to make sure the content was inclusive, and that it’s inclusive of all different types of sexual relationships — from not engaging in any sexual activity to maybe having multiple partners," Halbritter said.

Halbritter said she was inspired to develop an online sex ed program after the success of Refresh, a seven-week online self-help program about sleep. According to Halbritter, over 1,000 students participated in Refresh, more than she believes could or would have attended an in-person program. 

“[The online program] allows us to reach more students, and it makes it more accessible to students," she said. "Maybe students are more comfortable engaging in the material if they aren’t in a room full of people.” 

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