One of the biggest problems health experts face today is the growing rate of STDs and unwanted pregnancies. This has become one of the largest health concerns in the United States, especially among young adults and college students. Many college students are not educated enough about the risks associated with contracting STDs, and are not knowledgeable about general healthy sexual practices. In addition, other influences such as the types of media college students engage in could aid to these growing rates.
This study specifically aims to examine if media such as TV shows could possibly influence college students’ attitudes and beliefs towards using contraceptive methods. The media plays a big role in distributing information about sex, STDs, pregnancies, and preventative methods through various vehicles. Therefore, it is crucial to identify some of the reasons why TV shows could be a possible influence such as the type of TV show genre college students engage in the most, how much time they spend watching TV shows, and the parasocial relationships that could influence viewers’ actions in real life.
This study helps better understand the role TV shows play when it comes to influencing viewers’ behaviors and attitudes towards practicing safe sex. Introduction In the United States, there continues to be a growing problem with the amount of sexually transmitted diseases contracted among college students. There are numerous health problems associated with contracting STDs, and there is an urgent need for the current generation to become more knowledgeable about STD contraction, prevention, and treatments. The most frequently affected group today is young adults, specifically between the ages of 15 to 24 vears old.
The effects of contracting STDs can have long term consequences, and roughly 26% of new STD infections occur in young adults. There are 20 million STD cases reported each year in the United States, and almost half of these cases consist of individuals in this age group (Wallack & Davidson, 2004, p. 115). There are many possible causes of high STD rates in the United States such as the culture of American society, the amount of sexual health information made available to young adults in educational institutions, media vehicles used to deliver sexual health campaigns, perceived self-efficacy, and the media’s influence on audiences.
Health specialists need to recognize the main causes of increasing STD rates, thus enabling them to discover new and more effective ways to reach out to target audiences. Developing more effective health campaigns with those issues in mind will aid in the reduction of the increasing rates of STDs. An increase in health campaigns about sexual health will help to improve the amount of information made available to young adults. Currently, there are numerous advertisements about smoking, drug use, and eating disorders. However, there are very few health campaigns about sexual health.
This is most likely due to the stereotypical associations that go along with discussing sex, and how the American culture portrays talking about sex. Sex in the United States is not an open and inviting topic among the American culture. This causes problems because young adults don’t have the resources they need to become educated on sexual health. Colleges and Universities can do a lot to improve this problem by creating health campaigns focused on sexual health. This would increase the students’ view of the importance of the topic, and may even find the topic relevant to their own lives.
Making them aware of the information may not only be resourceful to them, but help their peers as well. The media have a strong influence on how the public perceives the importance of health related issues, and can influence the public’s perception greatly about sexual health (Bond & Drogos, 2014). New ways of reaching out to younger audiences need to be discovered so that health campaigns focused on STDs can help lower the rates here in America. It is important to find the most effective ways to reach younger audiences so that college students can take action to become healthier, and live a better quality of life overall.
Many young adults and college students are uneducated about STD contraction and prevention. This could be caused by negative and uncomfortable feelings associated with talking about sexual health. This may also be a problem of the limited amount of health related campaigns focused on STDs and sexual health. There are many college students who are knowledgeable about STD contraction and prevention, but do not engage in safe sexual practices.
According to the National College Health Assessment Survey, only 54% of college students practice safe sex by using contraceptives such as condoms (Wallack & Davidson, 2004, p. 16). It is vital to find out where young adults are getting their information about sexual health, and what are the most common media vehicles used by the younger generation. In addition, it is also imperative to discover other possible reasons that could be the cause of the growing amount of STDs and unwanted pregnancy rates. This topic is worth studying because it could become an even more serious health epidemic, and more health problems in the United States could arise if STD rates continue to grow.
There are many major health problems associated with STDs today, and many healthcare providers have stressed how serious these problems are. Some health issues consist of pelvic inflammatory disease and cervical cancer. These problems are not only very painful and uncomfortable, but are potentially life threatening as well. In many cases, patients who do not seek treatment and have STDs for a substantial amount of time could be vulnerable to other health problems that lead to infertility (Jones & Biddlecom, 2011).
College students should find this topic important because STDs can cause major health complications later on in their life. College students are the most targeted group about sexual health because many young adults are not aware of the seriousness of contracting STDs, and the health issues that are related. They are also the most commonly found group that does not practice safe sex, and are unaware of the kinds of contraception methods that are available to them. Lastly, other factors such as drugs and alcohol are commonly used among college students, and such activities can lead to engaging in unsafe sex (Jones & Biddlecom, 2011).
Young adults should care about this problem because if it is not focused on now then it will continue to spiral out of control. The issue of STDs not only affects the individuals who contract them, but they can also be passed down to children (Casey et al. , 2009, p. 58). If these problems are addressed now then the lives of generations to come will be changed for the better. There are many things at stake regarding the increase of advertisements for sexual health and the push to educate the public more about sex.
Many people are uncomfortable with talking about sex and want to avoid the topic entirely. This is one of the various problems that have become the starting point of the continuing issue of STDs. If people don’t feel comfortable talking about sex or if the media feels it will have negative reactions from the public, then no one can gain the knowledge they need to stay safe when engaging in sexual intercourse. This is a serious problem that continues to get worse every day, and we should strive to break the growing trend in the most effective way possible.