American Journal of Men’s Health
Access to health care
. Two questions asked participants
if they needed to see a doctor or go the hospital in the
year prior to completing the survey and about barriers
to accessing health care. One question asked where par-
ticipants received testicular health information, and two
questions asked whether participants have easy access to
birth control and where they get birth control from.
Statistical Analysis
All analyses were conducted using SPSS, version 20.0
(IBM Corporation, Somers, NY). Frequencies were cal-
culated to compile descriptive statistics and cross-analy-
ses of the five survey domains. Bivariate analyses were
used to identify significant characteristics within SRH
knowledge and sexual risk behaviors. Chi-square analy-
ses were performed to make comparisons within partner
sex preferences and races for categorical variables.
tests were performed to analyze continuous
variables. Significance was set at alpha = 0.05.
Demographic Information
A total of 258 males with mean ±
age of 20.8 ± 2.0
(range 18-25) years completed the survey (Table 1). Most
respondents (67.1%) identified as African American,
while 32.9% identified as Hispanic. Half (50.8%) of the
participants reported having a high school diploma, while
about 10% reported having either a bachelor’s degree or
Individual Correlates
Health Knowledge.
The findings suggest substantial gaps
in SRH knowledge among participants, with 5% to 50%
answering SRH-related questions incorrectly (Table 2).
The most notable gaps in knowledge were related to
questions about the chances of partner pregnancy after
ejaculation and during menstruation, and the effective-
ness of condoms past their expiration date. Almost 24%
of young men incorrectly believed that all sperm die
inside a woman after 6 hours, 15.1% believed a woman
cannot get pregnant if a man does not ejaculate inside her,
27% thought women cannot get pregnant while on their
period, and 49.8% believed a woman is most likely to get
pregnant during her period. Gaps in knowledge were less
often observed with questions related to STIs and modes
of HIV transmission and prevention.
Sexual Risk Behaviors.
In the 3 months prior to taking the
survey, most men reported engaging in sexual activity—
83.7% reported having vaginal intercourse, 70.7% oral
sex, and 20.6% anal intercourse (Table 2). Approximately
20% of men indicated having first intercourse at 13 years
old or younger, whereas the majority (51.4%) had first
intercourse between 14 and 16 years old; age at first inter-
course did not differ between Hispanics and African
Americans. African American males were less likely to
have had anal intercourse than Hispanic males (15.0% vs.
30.6%, respectively,
= 0.00, relative risk [RR] = 0.40,
confidence interval [CI 0.21, 0.75]; Table 3). The mean ±
number of lifetime sexual partners within the sample
was 10.0 ± 10.6. African American males reported a
higher mean number of lifetime sexual partners than His-
panic males (11.4 vs. 7.2, respectively,
= 0.01).
Most men (58.8%) indicated they had not used birth
control during their most recent sexual encounter (Table 2).
When men or their partners used birth control, 61.4% used
male condoms, 4.2% female condoms, 1.5% a hormonal
implant (Implanon®), 6.8% medroxyprogesterone acetate
(Depo-Provera®), and 3.4% oral contraceptives. While
many men did not use birth control at their last sexual
encounters, 63.5% indicated intent to use it during next
sexual intercourse.
Perception of Personal HIV/AIDS and STI Risk.
A substan-
tial number (22.4%) of men reported having an STI dur-
ing the previous year, and 3.9% reported having HIV/
AIDS (Table 2). There were no ethnic differences related
to a history of STI. When asked how they perceived their
risk for contracting HIV/AIDS or STIs, 122 (46.2%)
men responded either “very high” or “high” with regard
to HIV/AIDS and 88 (33.3%) saw their chances of get-
ting an STI as “very high” or “high”; the majority of men
believed their risk of getting an STI/HIV was “low” or
“very low.”
Table 1.
Demographics (
= 258).
85 (32.9)
African American
173 (67.1)
Mean ±
20.8 ± 2.0
Education level
8th Grade or less
3 (1.2)
9th Grade
3 (1.2)
10th Grade
14 (5.4)
11th Grade
16 (6.2)
12th Grade
50 (19.4)
High school diploma
131 (50.8)
14 (5.4)
23 (8.9)
Graduate school
4 (1.5)
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