Online Program

Men speak: A photovoice exploration on young men's perceptions of sexual responsibility safer sex

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Jean Breny, PhD, MPH, Department of Public Health, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT
Deirdre Lombardi, MPH, Human Research Protection Office, Columbia University, New York, NY
Background: Despite public health efforts to prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), young people between the ages of 15-24 are still at greatest risk of contracting Chlamydia and gonorrhea, making them more at risk for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Low condom use, low perceived risk of contracting HIV/STIs, inadequate interpersonal communication, relationship power and gender roles all play a part in these epidemic rates among heterosexual young adults. While there is some insight into women’s perspective, there is a dearth of research on heterosexual men’s perspectives related to inconsistent use of condoms. Results from research with college women indicate that the voices of college men needed to be heard.  The purpose of this research was to explore messages about gender roles and safer sex responsibility among college males, with the goal of targeting and changing those messages to promote condom use and awareness among young men.

Methods: Photovoice, a qualitative, community-based, action-oriented research methodology was employed with seven heterosexual male, undergraduate college students.  Questions focused on relationship issues, media messages, and responsibility for safer sex.  

Results: Using the Social Ecological Model as a framework, results indicate that young men receive messages indicating condoms are a women’s responsibility. Further, their main priority in safer sex is pregnancy prevention, with disease prevention an afterthought because of a low sense of perceived risk. The need for more awareness raising was emphasized by participants.

Conclusions: Understanding reasons of low condom use from a qualitative and social ecological perspective can strengthen HIV/STI prevention programs for young adults.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify interpersonal and social l issues that act as barriers to young heterosexual men’s safer sex behaviors. Describe one way to develop interventions to alleviate barriers to young heterosexual men’s safer sex behaviors. Plan their own photovoice research project to assist with policy and environmental change

Keyword(s): Men’s Health, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have my PhD in public health and am a professor at Southern Connecticut State University. I have been doing sex education-related research for over twenty years. I was the PI on this research being submitted for presentation.
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.

Back to: 3062.0: Male health policy