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Safe Sext: Adolescents' Use of Technology to Communicate About Sexual Health With Dating Partners

Authors
  • Widman, Laura
  • Nesi, Jacqueline
  • Choukas-Bradley, Sophia
  • Prinstein, Mitchell J.1, 2
  • 1 Department of Psychology
  • 2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Adolescent Health
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Accepted Date
Dec 05, 2013
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.12.009
Source
Elsevier
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

PurposeThis study examined adolescents' technology-based sexual communication with dating partners, and evaluated associations between technology-based communication and condom use. MethodsParticipants were 176 high school students who indicated their use of technology to communicate with partners about condoms, birth control, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, and sexual limits. Sexually active youth also reported their frequency of condom use. ResultsMany adolescents (49%) used technology to discuss sexual health with partners, with rates varying by topic. Girls were more likely than boys to discuss HIV, pregnancy, and sexual limits. Ethnic minorities were more likely than whites to discuss condoms, STIs, HIV, pregnancy, and birth control. Importantly, rates of consistent condom use were three times higher among youth using technology to discuss condoms and birth control. ConclusionsResults provide novel preliminary evidence regarding adolescents' use of technology to discuss sexual health and demonstrate links between technology-based communication and condom use among sexually active youth.

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