Sexual health and technology project
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Proposal for the 2009/2010 project "Sexual Health and Technology Project." Results from a study conducted in spring 2008 (n=956) showed that approximately 75% of MU respondents had engaged in oral and vaginal sex in their lifetime. Students reported the last time they engaged in oral, vaginal, and anal sex, only 1.7%, 37.6%, and 4.8% had used barrier protection, respectively. Furthermore, when investigating where students seek health information (including sexual health material), 79% of students reported using the Internet. Current mechanisms for MU students seeking sexual health information include presentations conducted in residence halls, Greek life, and academic classrooms. These data indicate a need for exploring alternative, innovative, and Internet-focused ways to reach our student body. This interdisciplinary, student-centered, technology-based project involves students in project leadership, website development, maintenance, content development and message construction, yielding learning opportunities for both the students implementing the project as well as website participants. This project will enlist content expertise from three student groups: peer educators from the Sexual Health and Peer Advocate Education (SHAPE) program, Service Learning students enrolled in WGST 2960, and student interns from the Human Development and Family Studies Department�s Center on Adolescent Sexuality, Pregnancy and Parenting (CASPP). Students from the Communication Department will transform the content into meaningful messages that will be delivered via multiple technology interfaces. A graduate student in the School of Business will develop and maintain the website. During the initial year, the entire campus community will have access to the website with a random sample of students (n=100) recruited to evaluate the site�s effectiveness by participating in a study. These students will be randomly-assigned to either an intervention or control group. Students in the intervention group will log into the site at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 9 months to complete online assessments following each intervention. Students in the control group will complete the same assessments without viewing the site. Student will be given incentives for their participation.