198035 Let's talk about sex: Learning from the voices of Latino/a youth

Monday, November 9, 2009

Aline C. Gubrium, PhD , School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
M. Idali Torres, PhD , Mauricio Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA
Despite the progress made in some communities across the country in youth sexual health outcomes, data from Western Massachusetts shows ethnic disparities in rates of teen births, STIs and HIV, with a disproportionate impact in Latino communities. The ways that Latino/a youth learn about their bodies and conceptualize their gender identities—and how this relates to sexual and reproductive health disparities—is largely missing from the literature. In “Let's Talk about Sex: Voices of Latino/a Youth,” we conducted Photovoice focused group discussion project with 15 youth as part of a youth initiated afterschool public health club program. Participants were lent digital cameras and asked to take photos of people, places, and things that were meaningful to them in relation to three sexual health topics identified by them as important to address in their community. We used the Photovoice method as a tool to assess the sexual and reproductive health needs and resources of the youth. This paper reports on emerging methodological issues arising from the focused group discussions—including participation levels in the sessions and how a structured versus unstructured framework affected the process of the discussions, outcomes of a debriefing session held with the participants after the focused group discussions were completed, and the role of language, literacy, and translation in the interpretation of project materials used during the sessions. It is imperative that culturally competent interventions devised to address sexual and reproductive health disparities are based on a well-informed understanding of the target population's own understanding of sexual and reproductive health issues.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the codified Photovoice method as formulated by Wang et al. 2. Compare the codified Photovoice method with a culturally competent Photovoice method for Latino youth 3. Identify methodological approaches conducive to sexual health discussions among Latino youth

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Sex

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I served as the lead PI on the "Let's Talk about Sex: Voices of Latino/a Youth" study
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.

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