A third of Sheffield students may be at risk to S.T.D’s

Over one third of students at the University of Sheffield have admitted to engaging in unprotected sex since starting their degree, a new survey suggests.

A Forge Press poll of approximately 1,300 students indicates that over 35 per cent have had sex without using any contraception, whilst 1.4 per cent admitted they had had unprotected sex with the knowledge they had a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

But the survey also suggests that almost 40 per cent of Sheffield students tend to stick with just one sexual partner since the beginning of their time at university.

An overwhelming two thirds majority thought that their number of sexual partners was below the national average for people of a similar age.

In other statistics, almost 14 per cent of those polled confessed to having a one-night stand with someone after a Union club night.

Just 3.4 per cent claimed to have had over 10 sexual partners since coming to Sheffield, and less than three per cent admitted to having sexual relations with a member of University staff.

But nine out of 10 students said they had never forgotten a sexual encounter due to excessive drinking or drug taking.

The survey also asked students to rate different social groups in order of promiscuity.

Female and male home students were considered to be equally promiscuous by over 40 per cent of those asked.

Whilst over a quarter of participants thought that both home and international students, regardless of gender, showed the same levels of sexual licentiousness.

Welfare Officer Jen Hastings believes that although the survey results are not necessarily representative of the whole student population, they are still valuable.

She said: “Interestingly, over half of the respondents feel that their number of sexual partners is below average.

“The majority of people who answered the survey fell into either the ‘one’ or ‘zero’ sexual partners categories.

“So perhaps our perception actually differs quite a lot from reality.

“I think students are the victims of a lot of pressure, not only from their peers, but also from external sources, such as the press, who often count promiscuity as an essential part of the student experience.

“As these results show, this is not the case.

“We need to encourage students that there’s no such thing as ‘average’.”

Last week, the Union Welfare Committee organised a sexual health awareness week to offer students advice on how to stay safe in sexual relationships.

‘Sexy Week’ included a Moulin Rouge themed Population, an LGBT sexual health workshop and a Give it a Go Burlesque night.

Members of the Welfare Committee also gave out free chlamydia testing kits and condoms in Bar One.

Hastings said that ‘Sexy Week’ was intended to widen the Welfare Committee’s target audience.

She said: “We wanted to show that you don’t have to be sexually active to get involved with a sexual health campaign.

“We included a range of events to reflect this.”

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