A Social Network Analysis of the Filipino Youth’s Reduction of Risky Sexual Behavior

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Let’s Talk About Sex: Social Network Analysis of the Filipino Youth’s Reduction of Risky Sexual Behavior

Abstract: As of 2019 data, the Philippines ranks as the country with the fastest growing number of HIV cases in the world. Social networks were explored as a means to prevent risky sexual behaviors that can lead to sexually transmitted infections or unintended pregnancy. This study produced a model explaining the role of the Filipino youth’s social networks in the reduction of their risky sexual behaviors. Egocentric social network data were collected from 408 youth aged 18 to 30 years old in Quezon City and the City of Manila. Structural Equation Modeling demonstrated that sex, educational attainment, self-efficacy, as well as educational attainment mediated by network size to be significant driving factors that could help in reducing risky sexual behavior. It is recommended that stakeholders consider educational attainment as a key factor in designing programs that reduce risky sexual behavior, considering the significance of the networks of individuals. The study revealed several implications for health education in the local and national context. Sex-related information from health clinics can be disseminated in groups as well to educate the entire network of an individual. The integration and participation of social institutions, namely the Church and the family, in the open discourse of sex is also recommended.

Keywords: risky sexual behavior, youth, social network analysis, network size, educational attainment

Citation: Bello, N. I. D. & Calayan, P. A. J. (2020). Let’s Talk About Sex: Social Network Analysis of the Filipino Youth’s Reduction of Risky Sexual Behavior, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

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