237654 Predictors of gynecological exam behaviors of college females, including: Genital self-image, body satisfaction, and sexual behaviors

Monday, October 31, 2011

Andrea L. DeMaria, PhD , Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
Ariane V. Hollub, PhD, CHES, OTR , Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Human papilloma virus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection, manifests itself in more than 40 strains infecting the genitals, mouths, and throats of men and women. Approximately 20 million Americans currently have HPV and another 6 million will become newly infected within the next year. Receiving regular gynecological exams can effectively prevent cervical cancer through the early detection of abnormal cervical cells often caused by HPV. A woman's feelings about her genitals may influence the decision to seek gynecological care. Although overweight and obese females have increased cancer risks, they are less likely to engage in gynecological screenings. Women who are sexually active, and perceive themselves as being at risk for HPV infection, are more likely to engage in gynecological exams. Data were collected in November/December 2010 from female students at a large Southern university in the United States. A total of 450 completed paper-and-pencil surveys were collected. The mean age of participants was 20.60 years old (SD = 1.34). The majority of participants were White (n = 350, 77.8%). Twenty-four month exam behaviors resulted in a range of 0 to 6 exams, with a mean of 0.99 (SD = 1.01; n = 450). Multivariate analyses were conducted to gain further insight of the ability of genital image, body satisfaction, and sexual behaviors to predict gynecological exam behaviors. The number of vaginal intercourse partners was found to be most predictive of gynecological exam behaviors. Results provide insight for intervention development surrounding gynecological exam behaviors of college women.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss gynecological screening behaviors of college females, 2. Explain gynecological screening behaviors of college females using genital self-image, body satisfaction, and sexual behaviors

Keywords: Women's Health, Sexual Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have an educational background in sexual health and women's health research
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.