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Safe Sex Campaigns Essay

1360 words - 6 pages

We live in a decadent world; a world in which anything we desire is within reach to some extent. We are motivated by the excess and grandiose with expectations of instantaneous results. We can pick up our phones and text message friends in India and receive a reply back within 60 seconds. We can board a train and arrive at a destination within one hour as opposed to a four-hour journey in years past. The world is ours for the taking. We have become so accustomed to instant results in our fast paced society, that one must wonder if we are sacrificing something unforeseen on the back end while just focusing on the here and now of the front end. With this decadence towards civilized ...view middle of the document...

Safer sex campaigns became prominent in the late1980’s after the onset of the AIDS epidemic in this country. The World Heath Organization defines sexual health as:
A state of physical, emotional, mental and social well being related to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual responses as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sex experiences free of coercion, discrimination and violence.
Safer sex campaigns not only focus on STD and risk reduction but also entail adequate family planning and birth control as well. By 1989, over half the states in the nation had some form of mandated sexual education programing in its cities and communities. Furthermore by 2010, health care measures had passed that called for Congress to allow that $75 million dollars be spent annually towards federally funded programs that promote safer sex and education.
The most ideal platform used to promote responsible sexual behavior is that of mass media. The amount of time that young people give to mass media is so abundant that this medium has become key in promoting safer sex practices. There are several basic strategies that have been created by health advocates in an attempt to educate on safer sex practices. Those strategies range from mass media campaigns, media advocacy, media literacy, embedded messages (messages given awareness via secondary means such as via a sitcom show as an example) and Internet interventions. Furthermore, public information campaigns have become the most common form of intentional use of the mass media for public health purposes. Entertaining programing that features socially responsible messages is one of the most promising ways of reaching the public. This form of entertainment education is also known as “enter-educate, prosocial entertainment, or edu-tainment, which is used throughout the world to put educational content into entertaining formats to increase knowledge, create favorable attitudes and change overt behavior concerning an educational issue.” (Keller & Brown, 2002 p.67; Singhal & Rogers, 1999). This medium of entertainment education draws from Albert Bandura’s 1986 social learning theory. By displaying successful family planning, as an example, through a television drama, lessons are provided on the rewards of a new behavior versus the disadvantages of the old behaviors.
There are six major U.S. funded agencies that use entertainment education in this country. They are the Academy of Educational Development, Johns Hopkins University, Population Communications International, Population Services International, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health and the United Nations Children’s Fund. Population Services International launched one of the more known campaigns, Project ACTION in 1992 with the goal of promoting condom awareness. This campaign used public...

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