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Investigating the use of simulation as a sex education intervention: the influence of perceived attractiveness on condom use intentions

Investigating the use of simulation as a sex education intervention: the influence of perceived attractiveness on condom use intentions
Investigating the use of simulation as a sex education intervention: the influence of perceived attractiveness on condom use intentions
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. The main aim of this thesis was to investigate the use of serious games and computer simulations for sexual health issues and, in particular, to explore the use of simulations to access and influence attitudes to sexual behaviour and risk. Judgements of attractiveness have previously been shown to influence the character of social interactions. This thesis sought to better understand the relationship between perceived attractiveness, perceived sexual health status and condom use intentions in both heterosexual male and heterosexual female populations. Both samples’ perceptions of attractiveness influenced their condom use intentions. In particular, the more attractive a partner was judged to be on average, the more likely participants would be willing to have sex with them and the less likely they were to intend to use a condom during sex. Therefore, this work suggests that such risk biases should be incorporated into sexual health education programmes and condom use interventions. Few studies have explored the use of computer 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. The studies reported in this thesis extend the literature by investigating the potential of computer simulations in serious games for sex education. Engaging in the simulations and games developed for this research had an impact on participants’ confidence in evaluating sexual risks. The interventions’ efficacy was associated with individual propensity for sexual sensation seeking and sexual excitation seeking. Moreover, the findings of this research work indicate that computer simulations could be an effective sex education intervention, in reducing the barriers to condom use.
University of Southampton
Eleftheriou, Anastasia
9cfa9aa1-adb1-4cf4-b624-f2d2a6fa3d86
Eleftheriou, Anastasia
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Ingham, Roger
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Graham, Cynthia
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Eleftheriou, Anastasia (2018) Investigating the use of simulation as a sex education intervention: the influence of perceived attractiveness on condom use intentions. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 304pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

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. The main aim of this thesis was to investigate the use of serious games and computer simulations for sexual health issues and, in particular, to explore the use of simulations to access and influence attitudes to sexual behaviour and risk. Judgements of attractiveness have previously been shown to influence the character of social interactions. This thesis sought to better understand the relationship between perceived attractiveness, perceived sexual health status and condom use intentions in both heterosexual male and heterosexual female populations. Both samples’ perceptions of attractiveness influenced their condom use intentions. In particular, the more attractive a partner was judged to be on average, the more likely participants would be willing to have sex with them and the less likely they were to intend to use a condom during sex. Therefore, this work suggests that such risk biases should be incorporated into sexual health education programmes and condom use interventions. Few studies have explored the use of computer 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. The studies reported in this thesis extend the literature by investigating the potential of computer simulations in serious games for sex education. Engaging in the simulations and games developed for this research had an impact on participants’ confidence in evaluating sexual risks. The interventions’ efficacy was associated with individual propensity for sexual sensation seeking and sexual excitation seeking. Moreover, the findings of this research work indicate that computer simulations could be an effective sex education intervention, in reducing the barriers to condom use.

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Published date: June 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 441861
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/441861
PURE UUID: 9d3dbcd1-7a37-4bea-ac56-301504b7b546
ORCID for Cynthia Graham: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7884-599X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Jun 2020 16:32
Last modified: 22 Nov 2021 08:10

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Contributors

Author: Anastasia Eleftheriou
Thesis advisor: Roger Ingham
Thesis advisor: Cynthia Graham ORCID iD

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