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Using computer simulations for investigating a sex education intervention: an exploratory study

Using computer simulations for investigating a sex education intervention: an exploratory study
Using computer simulations for investigating a sex education intervention: an exploratory study
Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are ongoing concerns. The best method for preventing the transmission of these infections is the correct and consistent use of condoms. Few studies have explored the use of games in interventions for increasing condom use by challenging the false sense of security associated with judging the presence of an STI based on attractiveness.Objectives: The primary purpose of this study was to explore the potential use of computer simulation as a serious game for sex education. Specific aims were to (1) study the influence of a newly designed serious game on self-rated confidence for assessing STI risk and (2) examine whether this varied by gender, age, and scores on sexuality-related personality trait measures.Methods: This paper undertook a Web-based questionnaire study employing between and within subject analyses. A Web-based platform hosted in the United Kingdom was used to deliver male and female stimuli (facial photographs) and collect data. A convenience sample group of 66 participants (64%, 42/66) male, mean age 22.5 years) completed the Term on the Tides, a computer simulation developed for this study. Participants also completed questionnaires on demographics, sexual preferences, sexual risk evaluations, the Sexual Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS), and the Sexual Inhibition Subscale 2 (SIS2) of the Sexual Inhibition/Sexual Excitation Scales-Short Form (SIS/SES - SF).Results: The overall confidence of participants to evaluate sexual risks reduced after playing the game (P<.005). Age and personality trait measures did not predict the change in confidence of evaluating risk. Women demonstrated larger shifts in confidence than did men (P=.03).Conclusions: This study extends the literature by investigating the potential of computer simulations as a serious game for sex education. Engaging in the Term on the Tides game had an impact on participants’ confidence in evaluating sexual risks.
1-11
Eleftheriou, Anastasia
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Bullock, Seth
eeb8c2f8-dd55-4ddf-aa8d-24d77b6fe1b3
Graham, Cynthia
ac400331-f231-4449-a69b-ec9a477224c8
Ingham, Roger
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Eleftheriou, Anastasia
9cfa9aa1-adb1-4cf4-b624-f2d2a6fa3d86
Bullock, Seth
eeb8c2f8-dd55-4ddf-aa8d-24d77b6fe1b3
Graham, Cynthia
ac400331-f231-4449-a69b-ec9a477224c8
Ingham, Roger
e3f11583-dc06-474f-9b36-4536dc3f7b99

Eleftheriou, Anastasia, Bullock, Seth, Graham, Cynthia and Ingham, Roger (2017) Using computer simulations for investigating a sex education intervention: an exploratory study. JMIR Serious Games, 5 (2), 1-11. (doi:10.2196/games.6598).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are ongoing concerns. The best method for preventing the transmission of these infections is the correct and consistent use of condoms. Few studies have explored the use of games in interventions for increasing condom use by challenging the false sense of security associated with judging the presence of an STI based on attractiveness.Objectives: The primary purpose of this study was to explore the potential use of computer simulation as a serious game for sex education. Specific aims were to (1) study the influence of a newly designed serious game on self-rated confidence for assessing STI risk and (2) examine whether this varied by gender, age, and scores on sexuality-related personality trait measures.Methods: This paper undertook a Web-based questionnaire study employing between and within subject analyses. A Web-based platform hosted in the United Kingdom was used to deliver male and female stimuli (facial photographs) and collect data. A convenience sample group of 66 participants (64%, 42/66) male, mean age 22.5 years) completed the Term on the Tides, a computer simulation developed for this study. Participants also completed questionnaires on demographics, sexual preferences, sexual risk evaluations, the Sexual Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS), and the Sexual Inhibition Subscale 2 (SIS2) of the Sexual Inhibition/Sexual Excitation Scales-Short Form (SIS/SES - SF).Results: The overall confidence of participants to evaluate sexual risks reduced after playing the game (P<.005). Age and personality trait measures did not predict the change in confidence of evaluating risk. Women demonstrated larger shifts in confidence than did men (P=.03).Conclusions: This study extends the literature by investigating the potential of computer simulations as a serious game for sex education. Engaging in the Term on the Tides game had an impact on participants’ confidence in evaluating sexual risks.

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Accepted/In Press date: 9 February 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 3 May 2017
Organisations: Electronics & Computer Science, Human Wellbeing, Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 408122
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/408122
PURE UUID: f4e69188-3747-4bfc-80b3-5b06f5e50641
ORCID for Cynthia Graham: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7884-599X

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Date deposited: 12 May 2017 04:03
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:36

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Contributors

Author: Anastasia Eleftheriou
Author: Seth Bullock
Author: Cynthia Graham ORCID iD
Author: Roger Ingham

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