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Sexual Practices and Perceptions of Risk among Undergraduate Students Attending a Tertiary Institution in Jamaica: A Pilot Study

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1101261    949 Downloads   1,530 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

This paper describes the sexual practices and perceptions of risk among undergraduate students attending a tertiary institution in Jamaica. The study was guided by six research questions. To answer these research questions, a descriptive survey design was used for the study. A total of 63 undergraduate students were selected using the stratified random method. Data for the study were collected through the use of a questionnaire and focus group discussion. The data were coded and entered into SPSS version 20. Simple descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage, cross-tabulation and t-test) were used to analyze the data. The results showed that over two-thirds (85%) of the students were sexually active and that the male students initiated their sexual activities earlier than the female students. It was revealed that 12.6% of the respondents had their first sexual encounter when they were less than ten years old. The findings of this study showed that a greater number of females (41.0%) reported using a condom on their first sexual encounter when compared to 20.6% of the male undergraduate students. Although 88.8% of the respondents reported seeing the promotional advertisement about safe sex, 11.2% stated that the advertisements were not convincing, for example they stated: “it did not convince me, and needed to show more than the risk”, and “not doing enough to scare young people about STD”. This has serious implications for how prevention messages are fashioned. The study indicates the need for partnerships to improve the STI/HIV risk reduction interventions in Jamaica. Based on the sexual practices identified in this study, undergraduates at this particular university are at risk of contracting STIs making them susceptible to cervical cancers, infertility and unwanted pregnancies. Based on the findings and their implications, six recommendations were made on how to use the platforms that will appeal to this group of undergraduate students in practicing safe sex.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Pusey-Murray, A. and Onyefulu, C. (2015) Sexual Practices and Perceptions of Risk among Undergraduate Students Attending a Tertiary Institution in Jamaica: A Pilot Study. Open Access Library Journal, 2, 1-13. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1101261.

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