African- and Mexican-American Adolescent Males Report Limited Access to Education and Discussion of Sexual Self-Care Issues

Thursday, 10 July 2008: 10:50 AM
Jennifer Lynn Collins, RN, MSN , School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Jane Dimmitt Champion, PhD, FNP, CS, FAAN , Department of Family Nursing Care/OB/GYN, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

Learning Objective 1: identify 3 barriers that prevent the delivery of adequate sexual health information to late adolescent males.

Learning Objective 2: to report 3 outcomes of late male adolescents receiving inadequate sexual health information.

Aims: The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the sexual self-care behaviors of heterosexual adolescent males aged 18 to 21 with respect to informational resources for sexual health protective and risk behavior. This study is a supplement to an ongoing, controlled-randomized trial of African- and Mexican- American adolescent females who have a history of sexually transmitted infection (STI) and are participating in an ongoing controlled-randomized trial of a behavioral intervention for prevention of STI, abuse and unintended pregnancy. Participants in this study were partners to these young women at the time of interview.

Methods: Participants (n=14) were heterosexual males aged 18-21 of Mexican- or African- American ethnicity. Most had fathered at least one child. One-on-one interviews with participants were conducted and constant comparison of data guided study questions. Coding was completed initially by one investigator and was confirmed by the other nurse researcher who is an expert in qualitative research.

Results: Discussions with parents tended to be limited to receiving condoms and instructions to “use protection”. Many participants indicated that sexual health education in schools was limited to prevention of outcomes and did not answer their questions regarding sexual health. Participants suggested that information regarding sexual health from parents and schools was poorly timed given that it often occurred after they and their peers had begun to have sexual intercourse. Although a few participants indicated that they initiated discussions regarding prevention of infection and unplanned pregnancy with sexual partners, many did not have any conversation with sexual partners about sexual health before engaging in sexual intercourse.

Conclusions: Data from this study will form the basis for a conceptual and operational definition of late adolescent male sexual health to effectively guide the development of culturally sensitive, cognitive-behavioral interventions.