A study of sexual health information among Central Michigan University students

Samuel Ankomah, Shayesteh Jahanfar, Joseph Inungu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aim: College students are presumed to be exposed to a vast amount of sexual health information and may participate in various sexual behaviors. Without appropriate sources of sexual health information, the sexual health of college students could be severely affected. The purpose of this study was to identify the sources of sexual information and determine the relationship between socio-demographic factors and discussing sexual matters with father, mother, brother, and/or sister. Subject and method: A school-based cross-sectional study design was conducted in the spring of 2018 (January to May). A simple random sampling was used to select a total of 808 students attending Central Michigan University. Participants answered a questionnaire from the World Health Organization administrated through Qualtrics software. The data was extracted from Qualtrics, and further analysis was done using SPSS software. The outcome of interest was discussing sexual matters with father, mother, brother, and/or sister. Descriptive statistics and bivariate and logistic regression analyses were performed, and all associations were set by p-values less than 0.05 and reported by unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios with 95% CI. Results: Nearly 80% of the study participants were females. Most of the respondents (39.7%) were first- and second-year university students, followed by third- to fifth-year students (38.4%). Approximately 59% of the study sample fell into the group 21 years of age and below. The majority (70.1%) of the study participants identified mothers (rather than fathers, brothers, or sisters) as a source of sexual health information. The majority of participants (39.4%) were non-religious, followed by Christians (35.6%). Most of the study participants (69.9%) earned less than $1000 per year. In a multivariate analysis, this study revealed that there was no statistically significant association between socio-demographic factors and obtaining sexually related information from mothers or sisters. Males also were three times more likely to discuss sexual matters with their fathers when compared to females [AOR: 3.09; 95% CI: 1.92–4.97]. Again, males were 96% more likely to discuss sexual matters with their brothers compared to females [AOR: 1.96; 95% CI:1.11–3.46]. In terms of education, first- and second-year students, and third- to fifth-year students were three times more likely to discuss sexual matters with their fathers compared to graduates [AOR: 3.41; 95% CI: 1.53–7.57, AOR: 3.02; 95% CI:1.53–6.02 respectively]. Conclusion: The majority of participants (70.1%) identified mothers as a source of sexual health matters. Therefore, mothers should be encouraged to be trained for effective communication regarding sexual health issues. Gender showed a significant association with discussing sex matters with fathers and brothers. The year of education also showed a significant association with discussing sexual matters with fathers. All findings suggest that family members need to be informed with correct sexuality information to better inform children/siblings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-919
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Public Health (Germany)
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Education
  • Health
  • Information
  • Sexuality

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