This is the season for rankings. In addition to the U.S. News and World Report list of best colleges, the National Research Council released their scores of top doctoral programs. Of course, the Nobel Prizes are being announced this week.
In the midst of such accolades comes another ranking: The Fifth Annual Sexual Health Report Card, sponsored by Trojan condoms. In conjunction with a research firm, Trojan surveyed 141 U.S. universities on their resources for sexual health. The categories included:
- Health center hours of operation
- Availability of patient drop-in vs. appointment only
- Availability of separate sexual awareness program
- Contraceptive availability and cost
- Condom availability and cost
- HIV testing, cost and locality (on- vs. off-campus)
- Other STI testing, cost and locality (on- vs. off-campus)
- Availability of anonymous advice via email / newspaper column
- Existence of lecture / outreach programs
- Existence of student peer groups
- Availability of sexual assault programs
- Website usability and functionality
Columbia University came out on top followed by Michigan State, Ohio State, and the University of Michigan. Brigham Young and the University of Idaho came in last. Boston University was not surveyed.
As we work with students and trainees, it’s important to consider if we make available the necessary resources for their overall well being. The rankings may lack the stature of other lists, but they remind us that–whether we acknowledge it or not–students are engaging in sexual activity and deserve access to information and contraception.