Talking about Sex

May/June 1998

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Talking about Sex

Photo: Jeff Slocomb/Outline

She was a movie star at 6, entered drug rehab at 14, partied hard as a teenager and recently relaunched her career as a respectable actress. No wonder Drew Barrymore has serious street credibility with college students.

That explains why she drew a standing-room-only crowd to Kresge Auditorium in February for a panel on safer sex. Sponsored by the Female Health Foundation, the panelists included senior Kristie Lilje, co-director of Stanford's Sexual Health Peer Resource Center, and Carole Pertofsky, director of health promotion services.

The freewheeling discussion ranged from the role of the media in promoting unsafe sex to the prevalence of HIV on campus (about one in 500 students is infected). The audience cheered when Pertofsky noted the results of a recent survey of Stanford students: 72 percent had been sexually active in the previous year.

Barrymore said she wished it had been so easy to talk about sex "when I was young." She turned 24 in February.

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