From an early age, we are bombarded with negative messages about sex
and are socialized to be afraid or ashamed to talk about it.
The taboo surrounding
sex is unfortunate because the benefits of increased knowledge and communication
about sex are many, including safe, responsible sexual decision-making as well as
enhanced trust, honesty, and closeness in relationships. Moreover, the costs of not
having these discussions can be dire, including unplanned pregnancies, STI’s, poor body
image, sexual abuse, and harassment. Although sexuality is a difficult issue to discuss—
because of how personal these issues are and because of the diversity of viewpoints
that exist—it is crucial that we have these discussions, respectfully and thoughtfully, in
our homes and in our communities in order to promote sexual health and responsible
The purpose of Brown Symposium XXXV is to start such a discussion.