The college years should be an exciting time of meeting new people,
discovering new opportunities, experiencing what the campus has to
offer, and finding out what career path you will eventually take. These
years can also bring about both positive and negative experiences
regarding dating and intimate relationships. Being aware of the risks
involved with intimate
sexual activity and knowing about the types of protection available
will help you prevent the negative consequences of unhealthy
sexual practices. Entering college with a positive attitude and
adequate education and resources will help you make healthy and informed
decisions about your sexual health and intimate relationships.
Go Ask Alice is an online question and answer site that enables readers
to submit health questions on almost any topic imaginable. Teams of experts
provide accurate, accessible, reliable and culturally-competent health
information that equip readers to make informed decisions on anything from
antidepressants, to eating right, to yawning. The site originated at Columbia
University in the early 1990s and is considered a renowned health question and
answer Internet resource.
Sexual Health Resources
What is the Difference Between STDs and STIs?
STDs are Sexually Transmitted Diseases while STIs are Sexually Transmitted Infections. STIs are transmitted through sexual
activity (vaginal, oral, & anal) and as a result of the infection,
these STIs can become STDs overtime. This process is dependent on
numerous factors: genetics, immunity, environment, individual make-up,
continual exposure, treatment, the possibility of multiple STIs,
continual sexual activity without protection.
STDs are full of sneaky germs and bacteria who like to hide and grow
in the most secret and sensitive parts of the human body. Although
unwanted and unwelcome, if you come in contact with an STD, your risk of
developing it is high. Be Protected! Be Informed! Here are some
For a visual of the STD distribution among the United States by
age, location, genders, and race, click on the links below, then click
on the Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis tabs to compare the rates.
A large part of healthy sexual health is
protection and prevention of STDs. One of the best ways of doing this
is by getting tested. If you, or the person you are with, are sexually
active or thinking about becoming sexually active, consider the option
of getting tested for STDs. This could help prevent the spread of any
unknown and/or unwanted STDs.
Females! Many women think that their "yearly exam" at the OB/GYN tests for STDs, but this is not the case. Ask your doctor to test for these if you are interested or concerned. Don't be shy, it's their job!
Testing at the Student Health Center offers
convenient, confidential STD testing on campus-no appointment
necessary. Co-pay is billed directly to your student account without
disclosing the service rendered. 205-348-6262
Women and men express their feelings in different ways. Effective communication is important for a healthy and loving relationship.
When each partner gets what they want from the relationship, it is
then successful. The Four “Simple” Communication Tools by Steve Stewart,
author of 52 Simple Rules to Improve Your Relationship was developed to help couples communicate with each other more effectively:
Ask for what you want
Show your partner what you want to receive
Learn to negotiate
Learn to modify what you want
More than Just Words-- Types of Communication
Self-disclosure: When we revel information we normally wouldn’t because of the risks involved in doing so; this increase our closeness to the other person and deepens intimacy
Listening: This is a rare skill! It is important in all
relationships to spend more time and energy trying to fully understand
the other person and less time judging, blaming, or advising. In an
intimate relationship, encourage your partner to share more by being
Feedback: Be positive! Acknowledge the feelings of your partner and offer self-disclosure in response to the conversation
Makes up for 65% of our face-to-face communication
The majority of our communication is reflected in our actions: eye
contact, body posture, volume and tone of voice, gestures, and facial
expressions. Understanding nonverbal communication skills can help build successful relationships of all kinds.
When Verbal and Nonverbal communication match, it is easier to interpret the conversation correctly and helps strengthen the relationship.
What Does LOVE Have to Do With It?
It is easy to get the words “Love”, “Sex”, & “Commitment” confused…and that is because they are closely related!
Love draws the two people within a relationship together
Commitment in a relationship reflects responsibility, reliability and faithfulness of the couple
There are many different forms, or types, of love that we can have for
an individual. Four of the most common types are explained below:
Paternal-Love expressed for a child by a parent
Platonic-Friendship love; no sexual elements involved
Romantic: Deep emotional, spiritual recognition of the other person in the relationship
Passionate: Involving both the pleasure & pain of love as a
result of emotions from our stress response. Relates to the feelings
and appreciation towards the other person in the relationship.
Love binds us together as partners, parents, children and friends. HEALTHY intimate relationships are an important contributor of the well-being of both individuals & society
Resources at UA
Does your relationship need help getting started? Relationship counseling is available through the Counseling Center, (205) 348-3863.
The Student Health Center, (205) 348-6262, offers many educational resources and services regarding STDs and sexual health to better help you.
The Women’s Resource Center,
(205) 348-5040, maximizes the learning experience of every UA student and
the greater UA community through outreach, services, and advocacy to
empower women and encourage their active and equal participation. The
Women’s Resource Center also offers counseling and support groups for
women, as well as events targeted towards positive sexual health and
Evolution of Dating
Have you ever thought back to how your parents met? Or even further,
to how your grandparents met? How do these times compare to how you
met your partner? Have the “sands of time” changed?
To see a photo montage of how dating has changed over the years, click on the link to view a series of photos outlining the evolution of dating to as far back as 1882!
Just like cars, hairstyles, clothes, and electronics, the trends of
dating and relationships continue to change throughout the years. The
traditional idea of a man “courting” a woman in order to date her
doesn’t typically occur in society today. What kind of era of dating do we live in?