The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Some international students at Texas A&M have been struggling to pick up groceries because of limited transportation options from campus to H-E-B and Walmart on Texas Avenue.
Former A&M employee sentenced to 5 years for hiding restroom camera
The employee, who worked for Transportation Services, was sentenced Friday
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • June 24, 2024
Graduate G Tyrece Radford (23) shoots the ball during Texas A&Ms game against Kentucky on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024 at Reed Arena.(Ishka Samant/The Battalion)
Projected Top 5 picks of the 2024 NBA Draft
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • June 25, 2024

In the 2024 NBA draft, there is an incredible amount of talent available for teams to pick. We have players from college basketball, G-League...

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
United they fall
June 24, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Winner-take-all
June 23, 2024
Eats & Beats at Lake Walk features live music and food trucks for the perfect outdoor concert.
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
United they fall
June 24, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Winner-take-all
June 23, 2024

Today’s euphemisms may cause uncertainty on sexual consent

Stigmas
Photo by Graphic by Sydney Farris
Stigmas

“Let’s hook up.” “The birds and the bees.” “Let’s go to third base tonight.” “Netflix and Chill.”
There is no lack of euphemisms and terms for having sex. Their prevalence causes some to question the consequences and sources of language surrounding sex.
Ryan Jackson, assistant coordinator for Consensual Language, Education, Awareness and Relationships in the Division of Student Affairs, said these euphemisms can become confusing when talking about sex. 
“Our students are uncomfortable having actual conversations about what they’re looking for in a sexual experience,” Jackson said. “They’d rather use these euphemisms which are really vague and may mean different things to different people.”
Jackson said the term “hook up” is a perfect example of how euphemisms can be interpreted differently from person to person. He said the spectrum of “hooking up” can include everything from kissing to sex, and this adds to confusion when talking about sex and consent.
“I think euphemisms can mean one thing to me and it can mean a completely different thing to you, and if we aren’t on the same terms about that, it can lead to a really terrible situation,” Jackson said. 
Political science sophomore and treasurer of Aggie Feminists for Reproductive Justice Emmalea Laningham said it’s difficult for peers in Texas to talk about sex with accurate terms when consent isn’t part of the discussion in sexual education. Laningham referred to “fear-based abstinence-only teaching” as incredibly harmful towards having a healthy, communicative sexual relationship.
“It’s not like, ‘If you want to have sex, here’s how you should talk to your partner about it,’” Laningham said. “It’s like, ‘Never have sex, whatsoever, you will die.’ Especially if you go to a private school, and it’s religious.”
According to the Texas Education Code, educators must, “devote more attention to abstinence from sexual activity than to any other behavior.” 
Corey Tabor is the director of Austin LifeGuard, an abstinence-plus sexual education program used in school districts throughout Central Texas.  Tabor said he does not think abstinence-only education communicates sex is bad, but rather that it tells students it’s not the best choice for where they are in their lives.
“I think it’s designed to communicate that sex at this stage of a person’s life is not the healthiest choice,” Tabor said. “So there’s a time in our lives where a person could engage in sexual activity where it’s going to be healthier.” 
Jackson said he believes abstinence-only education limits the conversation on sex.
“I think that abstinence is a great option,” Jackson said. “It’s something that should absolutely be taught, but I think by limiting the conversation to only one option that takes away all these other possibilities,  all these other conversations that you could be having with students, and I think that’s an important thing.”
Jessica Balderas, geography junior and vice president of Aggie Feminists for Reproductive Justice, said this teaching method can end up associating shame with sex. Balderas said this mentality seeps into the way people talk about sex.
“I think it’s the way we perceive sex, and the way sex is taught in the education system,” Balderas said. “Especially because if you’re just taught [abstinence] only sex, that really relies heavily on shaming people for having sex and using analogies to compare them to used objects.”
Tabor said he does not believe abstinence-only sex education is to blame for this.
“I struggle to think that more from the perspective of the exposure that people have to sexual activity and ideas now through the media, through pornography, through other forms of information where we get information,” Tabor said. “The average age of a boy seeing a pornographic image is 10-years-old. Sadly women are not far behind that.”
Raquel Ortega, a field coordinator at URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, a nonprofit organization, said while Texas’ sex education policies may not be exclusively to blame for not educating students on what sex is, there is still a glaring problem.
“If you’ll notice, there isn’t anything explicitly written about consent,” Ortega said. “Furthermore, if sex education must stress abstinence — always saying no — then how will anyone learn how to ask for what they want? Since consent isn’t stated as a requirement by law, no school has to talk about it.”
Laningham said social stigmas surrounding sex, regardless of whether Texas sex education is to blame, create a dangerous environment for healthy relationships and subsequently, consent.
“Instead of empowering communication, it empowers a lack of communication,” Laningham said. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *