176663 Analyzing Sexual Numeracy Proficiency in Youth: Exploratory Results

Monday, October 27, 2008

Elias Philip Duryea, PhD , Department of Health & Exercise Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
We assessed 18 year olds (N=177) proficiency in understanding various quantitative information regarding sexual content and sexuality (ie., sexual numeracy). Sexual numeracy is a sub-category of the current research focussed on "health literacy". We administered a brief test which evaluated how well and to what degree the following quantitative concepts/techniques were understood:1. definition of odds versus probabilities (i.e, odds of getting an STD..); 2. effectiveness versus failure rates (i.e., of contraceptive methods) ; 3.distinction between incidence versus prevalence (i.e.,of sexual problems) ; 4. definition of survival versus mortality rates (i.e., in AIDs data) ; 5. distinction between rates versus ratios (i.e., rate of teen pregnancy v. ratio of abortions to live births); 6. the difference between "gain" versus "loss" frames in how data is presented ; 7. what line figures, bar graphs, 3-dimensional histograms portray. Results show that SN skill is low in males across most areas assessed but high for a relative majority of females. We also review the current status of research in SN and offer suggestions on how future research in SN might proceed. Without sound SN skill individuals may not fully participate in their sexual health care decisions or have the necessary knowledge for making the best decision regarding their sexual health.

Learning Objectives:
1. participants will be able to articulate the definition of "sexual numeracy" (SN). 2. participants will be able to articulate what numeric (quantitative) skill levels indicate a "highly proficient" versus a "non-proficient" person. 3.participants will be able to list the 5 salient consequences of NOT being skilled in SN. 4. participants will be able to evaluate which data information formats (pictorial, written, 3 dimensional..)enhance which levels of SN. 5. participants will be able to define the "framing effect" and how it can be used to design effective data presentation formats for different levels of SN. 6. participants will be able to link each of these learning objectives to the exploratory results of the on sexual numeracy levels in youth.

Keywords: Sexual Risk Behavior, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 24 years in sexuality research & quantitative research methods as a university professor.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.