Frustrated by the lack of discourse surrounding respect, consent, and gender-based violence in sex ed, New York University sophomore and Students for Sexual Respect group president Josy Jablons decided to do something about it.
Along with student photographer Emilio Madrid-Kuser and Feminist Society president Meghan Racklin, Jablons launched #BetterSexTalk: A photography campaign that aims to raise awareness about sexual assault and to fill in the gaps where sex ed is lacking. The campaign includes photo portraits of students from the various schools at NYU, alongside their response to the question, “If you could give one piece of advice to a younger sibling about sex, what would you say?” Unsurprisingly, a majority of the answers so far have focused on ideas of consent — pointing to a major lack of discussion surrounding it in sex ed and beyond.
“In the past year, I have learned that activism presents itself in many forms,” Jablons tells HelloGiggles. “I am a strong believer in the arts as a conduit for social change. The #BetterSexTalk campaign is not simply about awareness: It is about stigmatization, communication, policy reform, and so much more. It strives to amplify the voices of young people.”
According to a study by the Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation, 25% of women and 7% of men will be victims of sexual assault while at college — with unreported numbers likely much higher. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 78% of the time, campus assault victims will know their offender. These are horrifying statistics — and it’s only through expanding our conversations about sex and consent that we can begin to change them.
“I believe everyone has a fundamental right to comprehensive sex education, and that’s simply not the case at the moment,” Jablons told The Huffington Post. “I entered college with no understanding of sexual coercion, with no ability to recognize an unsafe relationship. I entered college with no grasp of affirmative consent, and I blame my sex education for that.”
By allowing students to explicitly share the information they felt they’ve missed, #BetterSexTalk hopes to broaden sex education in an approachable way. The campaign is quickly going viral — and to date, includes over 100 photos.
“I am overjoyed by the support of NYU students in this endeavor,” Jablons tells HelloGiggles. “Above all, I hope this project will inspire others to join in the fight for equal access to medically-accurate, comprehensive sex education.”
Check out a few of the amazing photos below, and you can find out more about #BetterSexTalk on their Facebook page.
(Images via Facebook.)