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Sex, sexual partners, their role in the student life

College is an eye-opening experience. For the first time in many students’ lives, living away from home puts a whole new spin on decision making and prioritizing. But college also sparks new relationships among young lovers, and sex is often part of the picture. 

“Sex is an inherent desire, so everybody is sexual,” senior education major Olivia Ollinger said.  “People view sex as this dirty thing, but I think it can strengthen a relationship. It can also damage a relationship if done too soon or for the wrong reasons.”

At Georgia College, the number of males reported having only one sexual partner within the past 12 months was 44 percent, with the number of females at 43.6 percent, according to a survey conducted by the American College Health Association-National Collegiate Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA II) in the spring of 2011. The percentage of students who had two, three, four or more sexual partners within the past 12 months was significantly smaller, each falling between four and 10 percent.

This statistic alone provides insight to the amount of sexual activity among students who have chosen only one sexual partner, or who otherwise may be in some sort of relationship.

Ollinger says sex in a relationship can show how comfortable someone has become with their significant other, which in itself can show the strength of passion a couple shares.

For many students at Georgia College, sex and successful relationships are directly related to love. While sex isn’t the most important aspect of a relationship, it helps symbolize the emotion and connection that two people share.

“In my past relationships I have learned that you have to differentiate between true emotion and lust,” said Hailee Argo, sophomore community health and human services major. “Sex bonds you in ways that words alone cannot, and that can be a good thing or a terrible thing. In my own life, sex is not emotionless, it is love put into action.”

Some students, including senior political science major Mason Girard, agree that sex and love are related, but one should be a clear result of the other.

“Sex is a product of love, which comes from an already well-established and working relationship with a strong foundation of trust and respect,” said Girard. “Sex isn’t a bad thing for a relationship, but a healthy relationship isn’t founded on sex.”

Other students say that sex shouldn’t be a direct representation of how successful a relationship is, whether love is involved or not. Students like Brina Potvin, junior mass communication major, feel that instead of sex dominating relationships, sex shouldn’t be a part of relationships at all.

“I think that sex is taken way too lightly among most college students today,” said Potvin. “Sex is a sacred thing that should be shared between a husband and wife. I’m a true believer that ‘true love waits’ until marriage. That’s the way God designed it and that’s the way it should be.”

Potvin says the idea of sex is a distraction to relationships, particularly for students who don’t want to engage in sexual activity at this point in their lives.

In the study by ACHA-NCHA II, 9.3 percent of students suffering from poor academic performance attributed their problems to relationship difficulties.

“It is all about priorities,” Argo explains, “learning how to sustain relationships with others in your life, work, school and each other. Communication is the key.”

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