Communicating sexual health messages: young adults and the female condom
Charla Markham Shaw, Karishma Chatterjee
Department of Communication, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA
Purpose: This study examined how young adult college men and women (18 to 24 years of age) viewed the female condom, in terms of its viability as a technology to be used for protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancies.
Patients and methods: Information sessions led by same-sex peer educators were conducted with 55 male and 94 female participants in same-sex, small groups, followed by completion of anonymous online surveys, during Spring 2013, at a large public university in the southwestern United States.
Results: Using a grounded theory approach, the core characteristics of the FC2® female condom found to be important to the female participants were its design, lack of side effects, protection, and convenience; the male participants focused on the protection and design elements.
Conclusion: Message-design implications for health promotion initiatives and practical implications for health practitioners were discussed.
Keywords: diffusion of innovation, STI prevention, pregnancy prevention, contraception
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