‘Not the swab!’ Young men’s experiences with STI testing

Shoveller, Jean A., Knight, Rod, Johnson, Joy, Oliffe, John L. and Goldenberg, Shira (2010) ‘Not the swab!’ Young men’s experiences with STI testing. Sociology of Health and Illness, 32 1: 57-73. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9566.2009.01222.x

Author Shoveller, Jean A.
Knight, Rod
Johnson, Joy
Oliffe, John L.
Goldenberg, Shira
Title ‘Not the swab!’ Young men’s experiences with STI testing
Journal name Sociology of Health and Illness   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0141-9889
Publication date 2010-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2009.01222.x
Open Access Status
Volume 32
Issue 1
Start page 57
End page 73
Total pages 17
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Abstract In Canada, STI rates are high and rising, especially amongst young men. Meanwhile, the needs of young men regarding STI testing services are poorly understood, as are the socio-cultural and structural factors that influence young men's sexual health-seeking behaviours. To better understand this phenomenon, we draw on interviews with 45 men (ages 15-25) from British Columbia, Canada. Our research reveals how structural forces (e.g. STI testing procedures) interact with socio-cultural factors (e.g. perceptions of masculinities and feminities) to shape young men's experiences with STI testing. STI testing was characterised as both a potentially sexualised experience (e.g. fears of getting an erection during genital examinations), and as a process where young men experience multiple vulnerabilities associated with exposing the male body in clinical service sites. In response, participants drew on dominant ideals of masculinity to reaffirm their predominately hetero-normative gender identities. Despite growing up in an era where sexual health promotion efforts have been undertaken, participants did not feel they had permission to engage in discussions with other men about sexual health issues. Attending to young men's perspectives on STI testing represents a starting point in reforming our approaches to addressing how socio-cultural and structural factors shape these experiences.
Keyword Help-seeking
Men's health
Sexual health
Sexually transmitted infection (STI)
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 32 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 35 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 07 Aug 2014, 01:12:58 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work