Sexual Health in Universities and Colleges
Studies have consistently demonstrated sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to be high among college and university students. Some studies attribute the high incidences of STIs among these students to lack of knowledge about safe sexual practices (Wu et al., 2016). Other studies attribute the issue to age (Reel, & Hellstrom, 2013). Although different factors contribute to the issue, it is highly likely that lack of knowledge about safe sexual practices is a major contributing factor to the issue. Based on previous studies, the researcher believes that students’ sexual practices will be connected to the knowledge they have about the issue. As a result, students that are knowledgeable about the issue will likely practice safe sexual practices. On the contrary, students that will not be knowledgeable about the issue will be likely to practice unsafe sexual practices. This notwithstanding, some students are likely to practice unsafe sex despite being knowledgeable about the issue. However, it is expected that very few students are likely to do this.
The proposed study seeks to establish the causes of STIs among college and university students. Some of the causes that will be evaluated in the proposed study include lack of knowledge about the issue, ignorance and access to resources. It is assumed that students that will not be knowledgeable about safe sexual practices are likely to practice unsafe sex thereby contract STIs. It is also assumed that despite being knowledgeable about the issue, students are likely to practice unsafe sexual practices if they do not have access to resources. More importantly, it is also assumed that students are likely to act to irresponsibly despite being knowledgeable about the issue. Once the proposed study has been conducted, it will help to establish what needs to be done to minimize STIs among students.
Two methods will be utilized in the proposed study. The first method will be survey that will involve issuing research participants with questionnaires and asking them to fill them on their own. The focus of the survey will be to collect the opinions and sexual behaviors of the research participants. The second method will be interview that will involve holding one-on-one discussion with research participants about sexual practices in higher institutions of learning. During the survey, research participants will be asked whether they would like to take part in the interview. Research participants that indicate that they would like to take part in the interview will be asked to provide their contact details for the follow up. The purpose of doing this will be to help the researcher dig deeper into the issue by engaging research participants on one-on-one discussion. Once the data has been collected, it will be analyzed using the Excel program.
The two methods will be utilized because they will help the researcher to address the issue at hand adequately. The survey will on one hand provide the general overview of the issue whereas the interview will on the other hand help the researcher to dig deeper into the issue.
Students’ personal sexual practices will be the dependent variable for the proposed study. It is presumed that students’ sexual practices will depend on the safe practices and resources in the market. In this respect, the safe practices and resources in the market will be the independent variables. These will include condoms, sexual health clinics, and peer support among other resources. Other independent variables will include researchers’ background knowledge of the issue and what they do about the issue (Caico, 2014). In terms of measuring researchers’ background knowledge about the issue, the questionnaire will have pertinent questions that relate to health practices. Research participants that answer these questions correctly will be deemed to be knowledgeable about the issue. As a result, they will be among the research participants that will proceed to the next stage of the study for in-depth questioning if they express their willingness to proceed with the study. Research participants that will answer most of the research questions incorrectly will be deemed unknowledgeable about the issue; thus, they will not proceed to the next stage of the study. In order to help measure the above variables, research questions will focus their attention on safe sexual practices and what research participants do with regard to these practices when engaging in sexual practices (Stenhammar et al., 2015).
The research participants for the proposed study will be both college and university students. Given that it might be costly to collect data from different learning institutions; the study will focus its attention on one institution. This institution will either be a college or university that has sufficient number of students that are representative in all aspects. The target research participants will be the undergraduate students living within institution’s premises and with at least one year in the institutions. Accordingly, undergraduate with less than one year will not be included in the study. In addition, students that do not reside within institution’s premises will not be included in the study.
With regard to sampling, simple random sampling method will be utilized when selecting research participants. This will involve identifying the population of the students that will be eligible to participate in the study and sampling research participants from that population randomly. Once sampled, research participants will be issued with questionnaire to fill in on their own. At the end of the questionnaire, research participants will be asked to indicate whether they would like to proceed to the next stage of interview with the researcher. Researcher participants that demonstrate to be knowledgeable about the issue will be invited to the next stage of the study. Depending on the number of the research participants that will express their intention to proceed to the next stage of the study, simple random sampling method will be conducted yet another time.
Given that the proposed study will deal with sensitive issues, it is highly likely that some research participants might not tell the truth. It is also possible that those telling the truth might not tell it the way it is. On the other hand, research participants will be asked to leave their contact details so that they can be contacted for follow up. Based on this fact, it might be possible to identify research participants, which might raise ethical issues in the study. At the same time, it might be difficult for the proposed study to be approved by the ethics committee. Based on these facts, the proposed study is likely to encounter challenges from different sources. However, the researcher will deal with these challenges before proceeding with the study.
The recruitment of research participants from different learning institutions will not be possible because there will be no money to fund such a practice. Based on this fact, the proposed study will be conducted in one learning institution. As a result, the results of the proposed study will not be generalized to other learning institutions. At the same time, the researcher might not be able to tell when research participants tell lies. This might affect the outcomes of the study and the researcher will not have control over this issue.
Caico, C. (2014). Sexually risky behaviors in college-aged students. Open journal of preventive medicine, 4, 354-364.
Reel, J., & Hellstrom, E. (2013). Risky business in student dorms: sexual health a sexually transmitted infection prevention programming imperative for college campuses. J Community medicine & health education, 3(3), 1-2.
Stenhammar, C. et al. (2015). Sexual and contraceptive behavior among female university students in Sweden – repeated surveys over a 25-year period. ACTA obstetrician et gynecologica, 94, 253-259.
Wu, X. et al. (2016). Poor awareness of syphilis prevention and treatment knowledge among six different populations in south China. BMC public health, 16(287), 1-7.