Conversations about sexuality on a public university campus: perspectives from campus ministry students and leaders

Charis R. Davidson, Gabrielle M. Turner-McGrievy, De Anne K.Hilfinger Messias, Daniela B. Friedman, Alyssa G. Robillard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Little is known about university campus religious organisations’ influence on students’ sexuality-related attitudes and behaviours. This study sought to better understand sexuality-related communication within the context of campus ministries by exploring students’ and campus ministry leaders’ conversational experiences at a public university in the south-east USA. Data sources included an online survey of undergraduates participating in student religious organisations (n = 57), focus groups with campus ministry students (n = 36), and individual interviews with campus ministry leaders (n = 19). Findings indicated student satisfaction with the focus and frequency of conversations about romantic relationships and sexual health within the context of campus ministries. However, both campus ministry students and leaders indicated discomfort in discussions of sexuality. Leaders acknowledged their need for better strategies to engage students; students focused on how to integrate religious messages about sexuality with messages from other sources. These findings suggest campus ministry leaders may benefit from focused training and support to communicate more effectively with college students about sexuality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-118
Number of pages16
JournalSex Education
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • campus ministry
  • conversations
  • religion
  • sexuality
  • university students
  • USA
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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