Social Media and Sex-Ed?

by ssmit16 on October 21, 2013 - 8:09pm

In a recent article, three doctors of nursing at the University Of Illinois College Of Nursing at Chicago shared their findings from a rigorous research project. They wanted to determine whether a widely-accessible web page on a social media site would affect risky sexual behavior and Chlamydia incidence in at-risk teens and young adults.  The authors, Jones, Baldwin, and Lewis, sought out to answer the following two questions: “Among 15- to 24-year-olds living in a Midwestern community, to what extent does STD prevention education transmitted via a social media site (Facebook) decrease the intention to engage in risky sexual behavior?” and “Among15- to 24-year-olds living in a Midwestern community, to what extent does STD prevention education transmitted via a social media site (Facebook) decrease the incidence of reported Chlamydia cases?” (Jones et. al.).  The authors designed a research experiment using Pender’s Health Promotion Model.  They collected data through surveys and information accessed through those who accessed the web page.  After conducting the experiment and gathering evidence, the authors concluded that the availability of a web page with reliable sex education information did positively affect the at-risk youth population.  They found that 81% of research subjects felt that the site “influenced their decision to use sexual protection in future sexual experiences” (Jones et. al.).  The authors concluded that this method of public health intervention is a viable method of reaching out to at-risk populations and should be further explored.

            This article is overall very effective.  It is clearly organized, meaning that readers are able to understand all the initial questions, all of the research and evidence, and the ways the data is analyzed to form conclusions.  Likewise all of the research included in the report leads somewhere.  All of the data has both implications and consequences making it influential and important.  An important aspect of reporting research is identifying any aspects of the experiment that could affect the results in an unexpected way and lead to misunderstandings.  The authors made sure to do this in their article by identifying the limitations of the study.  Because of the amount of time that lapsed between the launch of the web site and the time that the first questionnaire was made available to participants, there was likely a missed window of opportunity to evaluate the effect of the intervention web page on those participants.  By pointing out this possible flaw in their research, the authors actually make their work seem more reliable since many details were carefully explored and taken into account.         

 

Jones, K., Baldwin, K. A., & Lewis, P. (2012). The Potential Influence of a Social Media Intervention on Risky Sexual Behavior and Chlamydia Incidence. Journal Of Community Health Nursing, 29(2), 106-120.

Comments

You make a very clear and very concise post. I can clearly see that you analyzed the data and looked carefully critiqued its validity, but how do you feel about the research? What impact do you think this has on the next generation? What piqued your interest in this article?

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