Irresponsible Sexual Behavior:
Enhanced Approaches and Multilevel Changes to Better Address the Issue.
Irresponsible sexual behavior includes a variety of behaviors that involve the possibility of an adverse outcome such as a sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy. Thus behaviors including having multiple sex partners, having sex without a condom, and having sex with partners whose sexual histories are not known are considered irresponsible. Young people 15 to 24 have a higher risk accounting for half of the 19 million new sexually transmitted diseases reported each year. 10 % of the women falling in the 18 to 19 and 20 to 24 age group reported an ...view middle of the document...
They are also characterized by the use of multiple intervention strategies for changing behaviors (Community Preventive Services 2010).
Theories about why people change their behaviors are important when trying to implement behavior change. They focus on elements believed to be essential to enact and sustain behavior change (FHI, 2002). The Health Belief Model is a psychological model that attempts to explain and predict health behavior by focusing on attitudes and belief of individuals. This can be used with CRR by educating the target audience about the perceived threats of irresponsible sexual behavior which include pregnancy and STD’s. The barriers that can keep them from focusing on the behavior change need to be addressed and the benefits of behavior change. The HBM can be incorporated together with the CRR to gain a better understanding of sexual risk behaviors. The goal would be to get over perceived barriers because it is the most influential variable for predicting and explaining health-related behaviors. More researchers are suggesting that an individual’s perceived ability to successfully carry out a “health” strategy, such as using a condom consistently, greatly influences the decision and ability to enact and sustain a changed behavior (FHI, 2002).
Since the HBM does not incorporate the influence of social norms and peer influences on people’s decisions regarding their health behaviors which is point to consider when working with adolescents on sexual behavior issues, other theories have to be used for the intervention to be successful. Interventions that do not consider a person’s location on a stage of behavioral change continuum are likely to be ineffective. Changing behaviors is complex and requires knowledge of the factors underlying a specific behavior. Behavior change interventions should address those underlying factors example attitudes, perceived norms, and self efficacy that can influence the likelihood that a person will move from one stage to the next (CDC, 1993). The AIDS, Risk Reduction Model (ARRM), which is primarily on HIV prevention, and the Stages of Change Models can be used along with the CRR to ensure maintenance of responsible sexual behavior. The two models can provide a framework for explaining and predicting the behavior change efforts of individuals specifically in relationship to sexual behavior. They incorporate several variables from other behavior change theory including Health Belief Model, emotional influences and interpersonal processes (Edberg, 2007 p133).
The first stage in this case would involve the recognition and labeling one’s behavior as high risk. With relation to sexual behavior, one has to:
• have the knowledge of activities associated with STD’s HIV and unwanted pregnancies.
• believe that they are at risk of being pregnant or contracting an incurable disease.
• know the influences of social norms and networking
• believe that irresponsible sexual behavior outcome can be...