Alcohol, relationships, other student issues: Real Talk with Shelly & Ted

Shelly Sloan is the Health Promotion Coordinator and Ted Winkworth is the Alcohol and Other Drug Program Coordinator. You can find them at the Lifestyles Center in Walker Health Center. Shelly received her Master’s Degree in Community Health Education and is certified in Health Education. Ted received his Master’s Degree in Counseling and is also a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor.

 

Dear Shelly and Ted,

When you are at a party, can binge drinking lead to being sexual assaulted? Are they related at all?

Signed,

Out of Control

 

Dear Out of Control,

This is a tricky one. At face value we see that there is data supporting a link between having a high rate of binge drinking at your university and higher rates of rape. If we dig a little deeper we see that over half of rape victims report being some degree of drunk at the time of the attack. Some people would look at this and say this proves that being drunk opens you up to being raped. Then we get into this weird place where we can start to believe that if someone wasn’t drunk or wasn’t dressed a certain way, then nothing bad would have happened. That is just not the case. In reality, the best predictor of a rape is the presence of males, as it turns out almost all sexual assaults are committed by males. The ones committing the crime tend to look for easy targets, and that most of them happen to be people who are impaired. The problem is that when we see the alcohol statistic, we think the alcohol caused it. This is untrue. The attacker caused the assault; the drink was just something used to facilitate it.

-Ted

 

Dear Out of Control,

Mixing alcohol and sex is never a good idea. When people drink, it decreases inhibitions and can cause blackouts and mixed messages (someone thought their partner consented, when they did not). According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, in one in three sexual assaults, the perpetrator was intoxicated — 30 percent with alcohol, 4 percent with drugs. And on many college campuses that number isn’t much different.

My best advice-if you think you may take advantage of another person while under the influence, bring along some (sober) friends to make sure you don’t. If you think you may consent to an activity that you normally would not consent to when sober, bring along some (sober) friends to make sure you don’t. Better yet, don’t get so drunk that you find yourself in either position.

Sincerely,

Shelly

 

Dear Shelly and Ted,

I am not sure how to approach a guy that I find cute…I need help!

Signed,

Too Nervous

 

Dear Too Nervous,

First, be yourself and second, be confident! Find some things you both have in common and start a conversation. Without any type of risk there is not a reward, so put yourself out there. There are plenty of fish in the sea if that doesn’t work out!

Sincerely,

Shelly

 

Dear Ted and Shelly,

I heard a group of people saying that after ejaculation, sperm can live inside a female for three days. This sounds like a long time. Is this true?

Signed,

Sustainable Sperm

 

Dear Sustainable Sperm,

Actually, sperm can live inside the body for about three to five days! If a female ovulates when sperm are alive and inside her body, it is definitely possible for fertilization to occur. The best way to prevent this from happening is to be protected with a condom.

Sincerely,

Shelly

 

If you have a question you can submit anonymously at www.lifestylecenter.net/RealTalk or send a Direct Message on Twitter @LSC_Oswego

Real Talk contributions by Peer Educators: Elsaa Batista, Jillian Bergemann, Halie Bloom, Kyle DeCarr, Julie Jacques and Racheal Richardson