Gender-based differences in fertility beliefs and knowledge among adolescents from high sexually transmitted disease-prevalence communities
ABSTRACT Limited information is available about adolescents' beliefs about fertility in women and its link to sexually transmitted disease (STD) and whether men and women differ in their beliefs. This information may be useful for developing messages intended to motivate youth to seek STD screening while they are asymptomatic. The purpose of this study was to examine gender-based differences in fertility beliefs and knowledge.
Data were derived from the Adolescent Health Study, a population-based telephone survey study in which urban household adolescents from a high STD-prevalence community were queried about their sexual experience, fertility-related knowledge, beliefs related to timing of childbearing, and risk assessment of future fertility problems. Chi2 and regression analyses were used to evaluate group differences.
The majority of adolescents reported that having children was somewhat or very important, but that the 15- to 19-year-old age group was not the optimal time for a woman to have a child. Regression analyses indicated that female adolescents were more likely than male adolescents to identify chlamydia and pelvic inflammatory disease as causes of fertility problems. Seventy-two percent of adolescent girls thought there was some chance they would have future fertility problems and 58% thought they had little or no control over developing fertility problems in the future.
Additional health education is needed if we are to motivate adolescents to participate in asymptomatic STD screening programs. Involving male adolescents may be a more significant challenge given that fewer male adolescents understand the link between female fertility and common STD-related conditions. Given our findings, fertility preservation may be a valuable teaching tool and social marketing agent for STD prevention in adolescents.
Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology 01/2013; 25(5):347-349. DOI:10.1097/GCO.0b013e328364ecbe · 2.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The focus of Chlamydia trachomatis screening and testing lies more on women than on men. The study aim was to establish by systematic review the prevalence of urogenital Chlamydia trachomatis infection in men and women in the general population. Electronic databases and reference lists were searched from 2000 to 2013 using the key words "Chlamydia trachomatis", "population-based study" and "disease prevalence". Reference lists were checked. Studies were included in the analysis if Chlamydia trachomatis prevalence was reported for both men and women in a population-based study. Prevalence rates for men and women were described as well as highest prevalence rate by age and sex. The difference in prevalence between the sexes in each study was calculated. Twenty-five studies met the inclusion criteria and quality assessment for the review. In nine of the twenty-five studies there was a statistically significant sex difference in the chlamydia prevalence. In all nine studies the prevalence of chlamydia was higher in women than in men. The prevalence for women varied from 1.1% to 10.6% and for men from 0.1% to 12.1%. The average chlamydia prevalence is highly variable between countries. The highest prevalence of chlamydia occurred predominantly in younger age groups (< 25 years). The absence of symptoms in population-based urogenital chlamydia infection is common in men and women (mean 88.5% versus 68.3%). The urogenital chlamydia trachomatis prevalence in the general population is more similar than dissimilar for men and women. A modest sex difference is apparent. The prevalence rates can be used to inform chlamydia screening strategies in general practice.BMC Infectious Diseases 11/2013; 13(1):534. DOI:10.1186/1471-2334-13-534 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective To explore how gender is addressed in medical articles on the prevention of sexually transmissible infections (STI) among adolescents. Methods Sixty articles were retrieved from a PubMed search and scrutinized by qualitative content analysis. Results Most articles were affiliated with North American research institutions, but there were also reports from Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia. Gender turned up in the following four recurrent discourses: Gendered Receptiveness for Information, Stereotyped Heterosexual Expectations, Power Imbalance in Sexual Relations, and Gendered Prevention Approaches. Young women were described as knowledgeable, communicative, and responsible, but at risk because of feminine ideals and a lack of negotiating power. Men were described as less informed, more reluctant to discuss, and more risk taking due to masculine ideals and power dominance. Prevention approaches concerned how to postpone sex and/or tailor gender-sensitive programs for specific groups of young women and men. Conclusion Researchers' own gender expectations might have a substantial impact on how sex and sexual health is considered in prevention research. To avoid reconstruction of current inequalities and stereotypes regarding sexual practices of young women and men, the impact of gender, the power structures in intimate relations, and the cultural context should be considered. Medical research on STI prevention could benefit from including a wider array of gender perspectives.Sexual & reproductive healthcare: official journal of the Swedish Association of Midwives 10/2014; 5(3). DOI:10.1016/j.srhc.2014.07.002 · 1.25 Impact Factor