Young women's perceptions of HPV vaccination in the conext of prevention, risk, and sexual norms
The relationship between the human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer has prompted the creation of GARDASIL®-a vaccine intended to prevent HPV infection and essentially, cervical cancer. Pharmaceutical company Merck has embarked on a national campaign targeting adolescent and young adult females as the optimal age.
Based on popular associations of STis as well as the HPV vaccine with greater frequency of sex, it was reasonable to expect that concerns with being labeled "slut" would act as a barrier preventing women from vaccination. Much of the public health scholarship on the HPV vaccine has focused on program implementation and cost-effectiveness, but the perspectives of both adolescents and young adults on vaccination relative to their health, sexuality, and reputation have not been explored. The present study explores anthropologically how cultural ideas about sexuality, prevention, and reputation impact young women's perceptions of the GARDASIL® vaccine in the context of decisionmaking about their health and sexuality.
Primary data collection was employed using semi-structured interviews with women between the ages of 18 and 26 on UCF campus, and presents respondents personal experiences and perspectives about their decision-making about whether or not to receive the vaccine and their level of knowledge about the vaccine. Results suggested that young women are no longer affected by this discourse in a way that would impede their seeking of the vaccine. Additionally, women demonstrated a general but limited knowledge of HPV and the GARDASIL® vaccine.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Brieck, Georgia A., "Young women's perceptions of HPV vaccination in the conext of prevention, risk, and sexual norms" (2010). HIM 1990-2015. 977.