Paradigma, our GLOBALHealthPR partner in Argentina, presents insights from a new study on sexual and reproductive health.
A recent study in Argentina carried out by Fundación Huésped and UNICEF proved television’s great potential to influence the public’s opinion on sexual and reproductive health. Fundación Huésped and UNICEF teamed up with the script authors, producers and actors of popular primetime comedy show “Solamente Vos” to co-create an episode in which one of the characters, an adolescent girl, has sexual intercourse for the first time. The idea was to emphasize the use of the condom and the role of women in the suggestion of its use and provision. What was most interesting in this study is that they obtained specific information about the impact of the show, as they evaluated sexual and reproductive health attitudes of the viewers before and after the episode’s broadcast through a survey of 700 TV viewers.
According to the survey, before the broadcast 53%of viewers expressed that they strongly agreed with the idea of an adolescent girl suggesting the use of a condom in the first intercourse; after the chapter this percentage grew up to 79%. Similarly, the episode was able to influence viewers’ opinion on the male’s role in providing contraception, as before the show, 30% stated that only men should provide the condom, and after the show the percentage decreased to 19%. “This study shows with real data the impact of TV in the decision of certain behaviors and at the same time reveals that these issues can be addressed in one of the most popular TV shows without interruptions in the story, tone or rating”, said Leandro Cahn, Communication Director of Fundación Huésped. Survey results showed that the introduction of these topics on TV helps to modify social perception of a woman’s role in sexual initiation and at the same time breaks down stereotypes associated with teenagers.
This topic also had an important impact in social media. On Twitter, many viewers who identified with the episode expressed their gratitude for the episode’s message. Additionally, many parents thought it seemed more possible to talk with their kids about sexual initiation.
Fundación Huésped is an Argentinean organization with projects that reach throughout Latin America responding to HIV/AIDS as both an infectious disease and a social challenge. They work to improve information, education and prevention access, expand public support and facilitate research. More information and link to the episode video can be found at: http://www.huesped.org.ar/solamente-vos/ .