Safe-sex Knowledge and Social Media

Published: 2021-09-13 20:35:09
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External pressure towards an individual is not only limited to those one chooses to surround themselves with, but also takes into account those who they encounter on a professional level. In their studies, Banerjee, Blake, & Evans (2018) found that a single company offered HIV tests in the workplace, with only 78 of the companies studied had not provided any health checks for their employees despite perceived positivity towards testing.
However the same cannot be said towards the experiences of 10 healthcare providers with HIV in the workplace, stating that the negativity towards the disclosure of their illness in the workplace included management informing employees, restrictions in the workplace, employee gossiping, difficulty in hiring, and damaging comments that have led to feelings of depression, resignation, and anger (Baas, Brands, Bos, Lechner, Kok, & Stutterheim, 2017).It is different in Ethiopia, however, because sexual acts are encouraged by parental figures, and friends, while the lack of education on sex encouraged unsafe sexual practices (Berhane Y, and Cherie A., 2012). Their study highlighted peer pressure as the main factor that influences the youth to perform sexual acts, regardless if its safe or not.However, in a more recent study in Ghana by Ahiadeke, Asante, and Bingenheimer (2016) state that adolescents do not engage in sex because it is not favorable to their peers.
While in a study by Gultiano, Hindin, Kub, Lucea, and Rose (2013), Filipinos are judged not only in sex but also in purchasing condoms; they will feel guilty when acquiring them because condoms are not generally accepted in the Philippines, culture, and religion being variables that condone purchases of such items. Pressure has been leaning towards males, and it is further emphasized in a study by Choukas-Bradley S., Helms S.W., Prinstein M.J., and Widman L. (2016) wherein males are more pressured in these types of sexual matters, than females; but according to Meyer, Sneed, and Tan (2015) the biological sex is not a viable variable on peer pressure, especially between the adolescents and their parents, similar to the aforementioned study by Berhane, and Cherie (2012).
Social Media
Social media as a means to obtain different forms of sexual experiences has also increased as more businesses in the sex industry venture into the usage of social media to reach out to clientele, this proves to be a boon as riskiness has been lessened ensuring safety for sex workers. Despite the assured physical safety and increased opportunities for business social media has brought, it does not change the fact that sex work is seen as a criminal offense (Aydin, Campbell, Cunningham, Hamer, Hill, Melissa, Pitcher, Sanders, Scoular, & Valentine-Chase, 2018). But social media is not always about sex work, because it could be repurposed to spread sex-positive behaviours and practices (Sun, 2018).
Such, are the millennials today who are obsessed with social sites which can influence them to commit sexual practices, thus leading to its possible diseases. However in a study by Black, Bull, Levine, Santelli, Schmiege (2012), they also found a similar alternative for these sites by using it as means to promote a sex-positive environment. While Abeele, Campbell, Eggermont, and Roe (2011) find that, from the same age demographic, social media is best used for selling sex, through a mobile phone consumerbase.
However, there are more creative, and efficient ways of using social media; Aral, Mercer, Torrone, Weiss, & Young who conducted a study in 2018, found a relationship between the increase of Syphilis and the usage of websites, including its observation into the list of sexual risk surveillance. Finding that the information garnered on social media via the geolocation of online messaging that include specific keywords that could lead to prediction of syphilis before a case report has been filed. Li, Tang, Tucker, Tso, & Yan (2016) state that the introduction of social media in the battle against the spread of HIV may become a trend, through the promotion of safe sex, safe injections and increased testing for HIV. however the researchers note the lack of social media reach in populations most in need of this education as well as issues in implementation due to concerns in privacy and possible ethical breaches mean that this is still a far off vision, and that further research into this method is advised. It still supports Capurro, Cole, Echevarria, Joe, Neogi, & Turner, (2014) presented review of public health articles accessed through social networking sites in order to identify existing knowledge gaps of social media on research and health practices of the public. Findings support that online health literature had been experiencing a stable increase but suggest that studies should more fully make use of social networking sites in order to increase their potential effect in the overall population health.
However, contradicted through another study by Gultiano et. al (2013) where social media, and even gossiping, portray condom use as abhorrent in committing sex. As well as sexually explicit private messages, as defined by texts and images of an explicit nature, which increases risks in sexual health have been observed in adolescents, leading to pregnancies and STIs. The researchers recommended an increase of communication with students and an inclusion of “sexting” and its risks in sexual education curriculum (Kordic, Montoya, Plant, Rhoades, Rice, Sanchez, & Winetrobe, 2012). And in a study by Chaco, Contreras, Ramgoolam, and Rodgriguez (2017) states that the millennials they surveyed do not use social media.
Safe-Sex Knowledge
Badin-De-Monjoye, Clerge-Duval, Dupuy, Fortias, Robin, & Vorspan (2017) found that the usage of contraception was commonplace within a population that comprised of women and men from a substance treatment center in Paris, It has been revealed then that lacking knowledge had not hindered the usage of contraceptives rather stating that it was other outer variables that had an effect on its usage, citing the inaccessibility of contraceptives due to sociological, medical or psychological issues that limits long-term usage for the specific population of the study.
Gultiano et. al (2013) found that Filipinos, due to misinformation, do not have proper knowledge on how condoms work, and have received information opposite about it. This is attributed due to other variables. UNESCO’s 2012 study recorded national policies and strategies in 28 countries, it provides a documentation of these health policies in order to compare and contrast the different ranges of programmes, be it national laws, implemented or not, national strategies and curriculum/training materials. UNESCO’s research found that 25 of the studied countries had a national HIV strategy in place, while only 9 have educational sector strategy plans in regards to HIV and sexual health. Finding more instances of sexuality education in the secondary level than the primary level.
The usage of contraception must always be taken into consideration regarding women’s health, leaving the issues of the reproductive system unaddressed could lead to the lessened well being of a woman, who is not then in control of their own fertility and unaware of the choices she is able to make in regards to their own body (Black, Haber, Lintzeris, & Stephens, 2012). Costa, Ferreira, & McIntyre (2018) found behavior that increased sexual risk had a correlation with level of education on the subject of sexual knowledge, finding those with a higher level of education more at risk and likely to engage in unsafe sexual behavior, leaving themselves at risk towards infectious illnesses. (Costa et al, 2018) suggested that due to the higher education of the individuals, they are more likely to engage in sexual risk behavior because of the perception that they are well aware of the risks they are taking.
Sex education- more specifically HIV education, can be successful in its integration into the curricula of future nurses, as proven by a study done in 2018, wherein results have shown that an increase of HIV knowledge is synonymous with confidence in providing basic care and improved outlooks towards individuals who live with HIV (Dawson-Rose, Fox, Freeborn, Monasterio, Morris, Murray, Portillo, Warren, & Stringari-Murray, 2018). Whereas educating adults, particularly parents, regarding HIV can increase the safety of sexual practices. There was a study conducted in Ethiopia by Berhane Y., and Cherie A. (2012), stating that parents, who were peer pressuring the youth in engaging sex, had limited or no knowledge regarding HIV, or other STI’s.
Bankole, Singh, & Woog (2005) state that there is a large increase of sexual behavior once an individual has entered their adolescent years based on indicators in behavior, it is within this span of time that the researchers encourage that knowledge must be expanded in regards to sexual health- especially in regards to contraceptives. Encouraging the attainment of comprehensive sex education for the youth once they have achieved adolescence else they are at high risk for unintended pregnancies and STI’s. Which is true for the study conducted by Chaco et. al (2017) that instead of relying on social media, as stated earlier, the millennials would rather get information from registered medical professionals. That promotes not only knowledge, but authenticity which can have little repercussions when they engage in sexual acts.
Studies show that a woman’s use of contraceptives is not often associated with their sexual education, stating that usage of contraceptives are just so they are able to space births apart and avoid pregnancy rather than due to a deep seat of knowledge of fertility and sexual health risk avoidance. The study also revealed that a woman’s intention to use contraceptives was proven to depend on their level of education. (Bagnasco, Giacomo, Sasso, & Sbarlati, 2013) Maddow-Zimet, & Lindberg (2012) conducted a study wherein they closely inspect the association of formal sex education and sexual behaviors in individuals ages 15-24. Findings have shown that sex education that covered abstinence alongside forms of birth control led to healthier sexual behaviors in contrast to those who had no instruction whatsoever. Researchers also noted the usage of condoms increased and was more likely to occur with those who had received sex education rather than those who had only been taught abstinence only education.
A study conducted by Chan, Chan, Chan, & Ip (2011) was able to find a relationship between age, work experience and the level of education received by women migrant workers in China. Reporting the women workers to have low attitudes towards contraceptives and contraceptive knowledge, As well as finding a weak relationship between both variables. Leaving the women vulnerable and at high sexual risk. However, in the younger demographic, a study conducted by Reis, Ramiro, De Matos, and Gaspar (2011) which resulted students who have undergone sex-education in schools, referred that they frequently have had lower sexual behaviours risk due to lesser occasional partners, sex being associated to drugs and alcohol, sexually-transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancies which may lead to tragic abortions.
Similar to a study by Philippa (2016) which stated that school-based reproductive health and sexual programs were well-received by students and have enacted or performed it as an approach to reduce dangerous sexual behaviour. Contrary to it, the review of Cochrane discovered that sex-education programs do not make any difference on STI rates as well as pregnancy among young people. As a matter of fact, they showed no effects or relationship on the dependent data of their study (Taylor, 2016).
Sexual Health
Sexual health is vital to a person. If he/she contracts a very infectious disease like HIV or AIDS, which has no cure as of writing, then the person has to live with it. Condoms are important to prevent a person from getting the disease. Gultiano, Hindin, Kub, Lucea, and Rose (2013) conducted a study in the Philippines about condom use. Their findings presented that Filipinos are not keen on using it thus increasing risk of contracting disease.
Jarman, Martin, Otahl, Sanderson, & Venn (2015) has proven that the potential of work health promotion leads to improvements within an organization. The promotion of health in the workplace through the means of intervention via positive health programs and culture within the workplace leads to benefits that affect the esteem of workers, most specifically women, and led to an overall increase organizational support and healthier overall work environment. Though it is not always the case because in a study by Sun W. (2018) promotion of sexual health is difficult, especially when the respondents are not interested in learning about the aspects of sex.

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