Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, August 29, 2023

Contact:

Kelley Dennings, (919) 355-8102, kdennings@biologicaldiversity.org

Analysis: Campus Contraception, Sex Ed Access Vary Widely Across Country

TUCSON, Ariz.— Contraception access and sex education on college campuses vary widely and are sorely lacking at many schools across the country, according to a Center for Biological Diversity analysis released today.

The Center’s new Campus Health Clinic Scorecard — Wildlife Edition ranked sexual and reproductive health services and gender-empowerment options on 22 college and university campuses that use wildlife as their mascots. Schools with wildlife mascots were analyzed because access to voluntary family planning resources is a climate change solution and can help slow the extinction crisis.

“Affordable, accessible and culturally sensitive sexual and reproductive health services aren’t just good for people, they’re good for wildlife, too,” said Kelley Dennings, a campaigner at the Center. “When students have the tools and information they need to plan their reproductive futures, people and the planet improve their chances to thrive.”

Schools earned points in several sexual and reproductive health categories, including for the services provided at the campus health clinic, the type of contraception offered on campus, and the kind of sex education a student can receive on campus.

The University of California at Berkeley, home of the Golden Bears, ranked first on the Center’s scorecard, earning an impressive 24.5 out of 28 available points. The university scored points for offering a wide array of sexual and reproductive health services and innovative sex ed outreach, like a reproductive and sexual health text line. In contrast, Baylor University’s Bears limped into last place, racking up a measly 3.5 points because the university doesn’t offer any contraception options, according to its website.

Campuses are in a unique position to provide sexual and reproductive health services and sex education to thousands of students. Many first-year students arrive on campus with little knowledge of sexual and reproductive health. Only 29 states and Washington, D.C., mandate sex education. Of those, 13 don’t require sex-ed content to be evidence based, medically accurate or complete.

“Colleges and universities have a responsibility to provide the resources and services their students need to succeed,” said Dennings. “They have a duty to protect their mascots in the wild, too. On both fronts, many schools are falling short.”

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2023 Campus Health Clinic Scorecard rankings. Design by Linda Rico. Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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