Texas Tech University

Sexual Health Education

Request a Sexual Health Education Workshop!

RISE is dedicated to providing Red Raiders with knowledge and resources which promote good sexual health. But what exactly is sexual health?

The World Health Organization defines sexual health as...

a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled  (WHO, 2006a). 

Good sexual health involves much more than having a conversation about the act of sex; RISE approaches sexual health education from an all-inclusive, holistic perspective, which means discussing gender and sexuality, anatomy, sexual activities, consent, Title IX, contraception, and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections. RISE graciously opens the door to a conversation on these topics.

Gender and Sexuality

Do you know the Genderbread Person?

The Genderbread Person?

Yes, the Genderbread Person!

The Genderbread Person breaks down key differences in gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and romantic attraction or one's sexual orientation.

gender bread person

 The Genderbread Person explained with National Geographic


As defined in the Texas Tech Student Handbook, in Section D of the Student Code of Conduct, consent is "mutually understandable words or actions, actively communicated both knowingly and voluntarily, that clearly conveys permission for a specific activity."

Consent must be...

  • clearly expressed by all partners
  • active; not passive or implied
  • voluntarily and freely given
  • given by all, who must also have a legal capacity to engage

Consent is not effective if it results from:

  1. the use of physical force
  2. a threat of physical force
  3. intimidation
  4. coercion
  5. incapacitation
  6. any other factor that would eliminate an individual's ability to exercise their own free will to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity

It is the initiator's responsibility to obtain their partner's consent, either verbally or non-verbally, for each activity. Silence cannot be assumed to express consent and saying "NO" is not the only way a sexual partner may communicate lack of consent.

Read the Code of Conduct and visit our Sexual Assault Prevention page for information. 

Reduce Your Risk

High Risk Sexual Behaviors

  • Little to no condom use
  • Unhealthy relationships
  • Having multiple partners
  • Sex while under the influence of drugs/alcohol
  • Using your ego during sex; creating a power imbalance

Low Risk Sexual Behaviors

  • Abstinence
  • Taking PrEP
  • Educating yourself on STIs
  • Getting vaccinated
  • Mutual monogamy
  • Practicing open communication
  • Sober, consensual sex
  • Having access to and using condoms every time
  • Getting frequently tested: the CDC recommends every three months

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Did you know....

  • Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis can be found in the throat, with no genital infection present?
  • There were over 2,000 reported cases of chlamydia in Lubbock County?
  • In 2017, almost 1000 people in Texas between the ages 13-24 were diagnosed with HIV?

Condom Use

Condoms are the only form of birth control which also prevent the transmission of infections. Here are some common reasons condoms could break:

  1. It is past the condom's expiration date.
  2. There is not enough lubrication.
  3. The condom was stored improperly.
  4. The condom was not applied properly.

Store condoms in a cool, dry place, use them before they expire, assure there is enough lubrication (and consent) during intercourse and properly apply condoms, to best ensure their effectiveness in preventing pregnancy and the transmission of infections. 

male condom 

Also, visit the CDC's webpage for how to use a dental dam.

Common STIs

  • Most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection
  • Carried in semen, pre-cum, and vaginal fluids
  • Ejaculation does not need to occur to be transmitted
  • Known as the 'Silent" Infection, often showing few to no signs/symptoms
  • Can be cured with antibiotics
Signs may include:
  • Abnormal discharge
  • Burning when urinating
  • Pain/swelling of testicles
  • Rectal discharge/bleeding
Signs may include:
  • Burning when urinating
  • Increased discharge
  • Swollen testicles
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Spread by direct contact with syphilis sore; transmitted vaginally, orally, or by anal sex
  • Sores can be found on/around the penis, vagina, anus, lips or in the mouth or rectum
  • Known as 'The Great Pretender', with some signs/symptoms mimicking other infections
  • Most commonly cured with penicillin
Signs per stage may include:
  • Primary: sores
  • Secondary: rashes/lesions
  • Tertiary: affect on organs
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Almost 80 million Americans are infected with HPV
  • There are many types of HPV, with some being linked to genital warts and various cancers
  • Most commonly spread through vaginal or anal sex and sometimes oral
  • Can be passed, even if an individual with the infection is not showing any signs/symptoms
  • An individual may become infected, but show no symptoms for years
  • There is no test to find out a person's "HPV status"; tests are available to screen for cancers
  • Vaccine is available for men and women up to the age of 26
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)
  • Oral herpes is usually caused by HSV-1 and can result in cold sores or blisters on/around mouth
  • Genital herpes is usually caused by HSV-2: 1 out of 6 people age 14-49 have genital herpes
  • Oral herpes can spread from mouth to genitals and vice versa
  • Herpes is spread by contact with a herpes sore, saliva, genital secretions, and infected skin
  • Most individuals show no signs or show blisters and even flu-like symptoms
  • Medicine is available to shorten or even prevent outbreak
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Virus attacks one's immune system, specifically CD4 cells (T cells)
  • Spread via bodily fluids: blood, semen, rectal and vaginal fluids
  • If gone untreated, HIV can destroy so many cells the body cannot fight off infections properly
  • May take 2-4 to show signs/symptoms after initial infection
  • Stage 1 infection commonly shows flu-like symptoms
Treatment options:
  • PrEP: lowers an individual's chance of getting infected (for negative patients)
  • ART: reduces amount of virus in one's blood and body fluids (for positive patients)
  • PeP: taken after potential exposure to HIV to prevent infection (for negative patients)

Local Lubbock HIV support and resources: Project Champs

For a full list of STIs and additional information, visit the CDC's resource page.

Resource Sheets

Sexual Health RS

 Crisis RS

Watch the tea and consent video!

 Anatomy Quizzes 

male anatomy


female anatomy