Sexually Transmitted Disease Risk Behavior in Senior High School Students

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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are one of the reproductive health problems caused by unsafe sexual behavior. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) states that more than one million people are affected by STDs every day and 357 million cases occur every year. In Indonesia alone in 2016, there were 41,259 STDs cases. Sexually transmitted diseases are influenced by many factors such as media exposure, family closeness, and individual knowledge about STDs.

Transmission of STDs can be prevented by safe sexual behavior, but this is still less effective compared to avoiding risky sexual behavior. Data from the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) states that 62.7% of students in Indonesia have high-risk sexual behavior. This risky sexual behavior is usually triggered by the social environment, media exposure on pornography, family closeness, and personal knowledge about STDs.

A cross-sectional study conducted on 11th-grade children in one school in Surakarta, Central Java found that 7.4% of children were at high risk of STD transmission. In this study, students were given questionnaires about family, media exposure, sexual knowledge, and behavior. The result from all variables has a significant correlation with behaviors that are at risk of STD transmission. High exposure to pornographic media, lack of family closeness, and lack of knowledge about STDs increase risky sexual behavior.

Lack of closeness to family can increase the risk of contracting STDs because there is low social control over children’s behavior. Therefore, this research does not include those who live in boarding houses. Other research states that lack of closeness with family can increase the risk of STDs by 4.65 points. Based on theories about human behavior, closeness to family becomes one of the natural needs of children. When these needs are not fulfilled, the child will look for other things to meet their natural needs through sexual behavior. On the other hand, if there is a closeness with family, it can reduce the risk of STDs in adolescents by 20%.

High exposure to pornographic media can increase the risk of STDs. It is evident from the results of this research that subjects with high-risk STDs have 15.7% higher exposure than subjects with low risk. Media exposure can increase the risk of STDs by 3.561 points. This media exposure to pornography is an enabling factor. Exposure to a massive thing will bring people to do the same thing. For example, if teens are exposed to pornography continuously, they will have a higher risk of unsafe sexual behavior compared to adolescents who do not get this exposure.

The next variable, individual knowledge about STDs is also one of the influencing factors. Lack of knowledge about STDs will increase the risk of getting STDs by 5.553 points. On the contrary, with enough knowledge about STDs, the risk of STDs is reduced by 8.3%. Based on cognitive theory, knowledge makes a person know about the positive and negative effects of the actions taken. Sufficient knowledge of STDs will make a person understand the negative effects of unsafe sex. If someone understands this negative effect, then someone will try to avoid unsafe sexual behavior. Other research states that providing continuous interventions on knowledge about STDs funding will reduce the incidence of STDs by 19%.

The most influential factor in high-risk behavior of STDs is knowledge, followed by exposure to pornographic media and closeness to family. Knowledge ranks first because knowledge is the most influential predisposing factor in human behavior theory. A person’s knowledge will influence behavior, politeness, individual norms, and sociodemographic factors. Close relationships with family and knowledge about STDs have a negative effect on high-risk behavior of STDs. Poor knowledge and relationship with family will increase the risk of STDs while media exposure has a positive effect on high-risk behavior of STDs, namely high exposure to pornographic media will increase the risk of STDs.

Author: Prof. Dr. dr. Cita Rosita Sigit Prakoeswa, SpKK(K), FINS-DV, FAADV

Details of the research available at:

The Effect of Media Exposure,
Family Closeness, and Knowledge About Sexually Transmitted Disease on Sexually
Transmited Disease Risk Behavior in Senior High School Students

Oki Wihardiyanto, Flora
Ramona Sigit Prakoeswa, Cita Rosita Sigit Prakoeswa

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