Simpson Jr, S and Clifford, C and Ross, K and Sefton, N and Owen, L and Blizzard, L and Turner, R, Sexual health literacy of the student population of the University of Tasmania: results of the RUSSL Study, Sexual Health (Print): an interdisciplinary journal of sexual health including HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, 12, (3) pp. 207-216. ISSN 1448-5028 (2015) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2015 CSIRO
Background: Evidence suggests a varied level of sexual health literacy (SHL) among university student populations, so we evaluated the SHL among students at the University of Tasmania.
Methods: Students were invited to complete an anonymous online questionnaire during August/September 2013. SHL was assessed using the ARCSHS National Survey of Australian Secondary Students & Sexual Health (ARC) and the Sexual Health Questionnaire (SHS). Predictors of literacy scores were evaluated by linear regression.
Results: The study recruited 1786 participants (8.2% of 2013 student population), of similar composition to the general university population. Female sex, older age, sexual education, and sexual experience were significant predictors of SHL. As hypothesised, students in medical/nursing disciplines had the highest SHL. Less expected were the significant differences by birthplace and religious affiliation, many of which persisted on adjustment for confounders. Compared with Australian/New Zealander students, overseas-born students had significantly lower ARC (–3.6%, P < 0.001) & SHS (–4.2%, P < 0.001); this was driven by Malaysian, Indian, and Chinese students. Compared with agnostic/atheist-identifying students, those of Buddhist (ARC: –5.4%, P = 0.014; SHS: –6.7%, P = 0.002), Hindu (ARC: –8.8%, P = 0.098; SHS: –12.2%, P = 0.027), Muslim (ARC: –16.5%, P < 0.001; SHS: –13.4%, P = 0.001) and Protestant (ARC: –2.3%, P = 0.023; SHS: –4.4%, P < 0.001) identifications had markedly lower SHL.
Conclusions: This study, one of the first among university students in Australia, found a varied SHL by sex, age, sexual education and sexual experience, as well as by birthplace and religious affiliation. These findings have applications in orientation and education programs at Australian universities.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Research Division:||Health Sciences|
|Research Group:||Health services and systems|
|Research Field:||Health services and systems not elsewhere classified|
|Objective Group:||Public health (excl. specific population health)|
|Objective Field:||Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified|
|UTAS Author:||Simpson Jr, S (Dr Steve Simpson JR)|
|UTAS Author:||Clifford, C (Dr Christine Clifford)|
|UTAS Author:||Ross, K (Dr Kaz Ross)|
|UTAS Author:||Sefton, N (Mr Neil Sefton)|
|UTAS Author:||Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)|
|UTAS Author:||Turner, R (Professor Richard Turner)|
|Web of Science® Times Cited:||6|
|Downloads:||90 View Download Statistics|
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