Sexual Health Advice Given on Popular Web-Based Magazine Sites Targeting Adolescent Women

Monday, 9 November 2015: 2:25 PM

Olivia Sutter
College of Nursing, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
Victoria von Sadovszky, PhD, RN, FAAN
Patient Care Services, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA

Adolescent women are at greatest risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs; Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 2014).  Sexual risk behaviors are the most common cause of transmission of STIs in adolescent and young women (CDC). One of the primary sources of information that adolescents will use for sexual health information is the web (Kaiser, Family Foundation, 2013); however, little is known about the type of content available on popular web sites specifically targeting adolescents. The purpose of this study was to examine the sexual advice posted on four popular magazine sites adolescent women frequent. Four web-based magazine sites were chosen based on rankings from An adaptation of PRISMA guidelines was used to guide the methods of this study (Moher, et al., 2009). The word “sex” was typed into the search box on each website. All link titles appearing from the search were examined for inclusion into the study. Inclusion criteria were any advice or articles related to:  1) sexual health/STIs, 2) sexual/romantic relationship content, and 3) sexual behaviors. A total of 541 links were found and 158 met the inclusion criteria. Data analysis is in process. All data are being content analyzed using McLaughlin & Mariscuilo’s (1990) technique for types of advice presented around STIs, sexual health, sexual behaviors, and romantic relationships. Content within the categories will look at types of information and pictures portrayed on website pages. Descriptive statistics will be used to summarize findings the demographics of each magazine website, as well as, content in each category. The anticipated results of this study will delineate what types of information are being distributed by popular teen magazine websites and the specific content of those messages. Implications for future research are pending results. The practice implications of these findings will be to understand alternative sources of information for sexual health in this age group. This information will help practitioners discern which websites have evidence-based information and can be used for referrals.