When Will Parker, the University Program Council’s diversity and education chair, saw sexologist Justine Shuey present with the National Association for Campus Activities in February 2019, he said he knew he wanted to bring her approachable way of discussing sexuality to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The ‘creating connections’ series began the week of Sept. 2 and will culminate Sept. 12 with Shuey’s event in the Nebraska Union Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. UPC Nebraska and Campus NightLife decided to host the event to shed light on often overlooked topics, specifically human sexuality and relationships, Parker said.
“I was really drawn to her when I saw her present,” said Parker, a sophomore hospitality major. “I thought her message was so cool and the way she presented it was just awesome.”
After Parker approached Shuey, they began to coordinate how to bring her presentation to UNL. Shuey said that she presents at hundreds of campuses across the country each year, as well as in Canada.
“I think right now, sexual health is kind of a taboo topic,” Parker said. “By bringing in Shuey, along with the other speakers who will come for the series, it could really bring a lot of awareness to the topic and make students feel more comfortable talking about it and asking questions.”
Shuey said that she began to tour and give presentations because of a need for more thorough sex education in the U.S.
“In a lot of the U.S., it is still legal to give factually inaccurate information about sex and sexuality,” Shuey said. “So, you now have students who are coming into college who are looking to explore their sexuality, but a lot of them have so much misinformation that they just haven’t learned it [sexual education] completely or accurately.”
Both Parker and Shuey said they believe sexual health is an important topic that is often under-addressed.
“A lot of people are under the impression that oral sex is safe sex when in reality, unprotected oral sex can lead to throat cancer through HPV, and you can get other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, and people don’t realize that,” Shuey said.
Shuey will address a variety of topics in her presentation and believes that anyone can benefit from listening to her presentation, she said.
“I’m going to talk about sex, love, healthy relationships, communication, consent and a whole lot more,” Shuey said. “In general, I think it’s really important for people to learn about healthy sexuality, healthy relationships and affirmative, enthusiastic consent.”
She said that while she covers a vast range of topics, she is also there to answer any questions students may have.
“[Shuey] does a Q&A portion of her event where any student can submit a question through an anonymous text message,” Parker said. “Hopefully this makes students feel comfortable to ask questions.”
UPC and Campus NightLife hope there is a great turnout and that everyone who attends can learn something useful, Parker said.
“People should just come with an open mind,” Shuey said. “And bring all of their burning sex questions.”
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