142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Sexual Health Information Sources for College Students: Gender Differences and Associations with Sexual Healthcare Behaviors

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sarah Beshers, PhD , Health Department, SUNY-Cortland, Cortland, NY
Jill M. Murphy, PhD , Health Department, SUNY-Cortland, Cortland, NY
Martin Mahoney, MD, PhD , Department of Medicine and Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY
Many studies have focused on school-based sexuality education and parent-child communication about sexual health.  Relatively little is known about how other potential sources of sexual health information (SHI) contribute to the sexual health education of young adults.  This study describes how young people access a broad range of potential SHI sources.  In 2011, a cross-sectional study was conducted among 1,047 students attending two northeastern universities.  An anonymous, web-based survey included questions about SHI sources and sexual healthcare.  One question asked:  “Have any of the following been a source of sexual health information for you?”  Respondents could select answers from a list of 17 potential SHI sources.  Chi-square tests were used to compare male and female responses and to identify associations between SHI sources and specific sexual healthcare behaviors. The mostly commonly reported SHI sources were high school health class (93%), friend (81%), mother (70%), doctor (70%), and book/magazine/pamphlet (68%).  Females were significantly more likely than males to report multiple SHI sources, including mother, other relative, primary care physician, and friend.  Males were significantly more likely to identify their father as an SHI source.  Several sources were associated with HIV/STI testing and using a condom for vaginal sex, but no sources were associated with receiving the HPV vaccine. These results reveal a gender disparity with regards to accessing multiple SHI sources, suggesting the need to provide adolescent and young adult males with additional support to learn about sexual healthcare.  Associations between several SHI sources and sexual healthcare behaviors are worthy of further research.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
List several sources of sexual health information reported by college students. Compare male and female college students in terms of their sources of sexual health information. Describe associations between specific sources of sexual health information and sexual healthcare behaviors.

Keyword(s): STDs/STI, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My primary research interest is sexual health education for adolescents and young adults. I have already conducted multiple studies in this field.
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.