The essay is an in depth analysis of a scholarly article as well as a review of a popular media resource on sexuality. The scholarly article reviewed is titled, "Sexual knowledge, attitudes and activity of men conscripted into the military" authored by Jiankang, Chao et al. published in 2010. The study focused on experience, understanding, knowledge as well as attitudes concerning sexual activities of persons recruited in the military.
According to Chao, et al, 2010 the research article's major component is knowledge, attitude, values and skills concerning sexuality. It is apparent that the fight against HIV and AIDS calls for the involved parties to adequately have enough knowledge to tackle it. Thus it is of significance to ensure that people are well equipped with the desired knowledge. The article sought after providing evidence that is needed for development of a better sex education program to be used beyond high school, an examination of sexual knowledge, attitude as well as behaviors of young men recruited in the military. Similarly, the research sought to determine if there were differences in socio-demographic characteristics between men who did, or didn't have sexual experience.
The research was done by use of both secondary and primary sources of data. The desired data was collected from a group of military members in southern Taiwan between the periods of January and July 2009. The target sample was aged 18-29 years. To aid in data collection, survey questionnaires were distributed to 1230 recruits.
From the study, the authors established that close to 43% of those recruits participating in the study had penetrative vaginal intercourse at least once, about 34% had heterosexual oral sex, and about 7.0% engaged in homosexual intercourse. Close to 7.5% experienced homosexual oral sex within the last one year. It was also apparent from the study that education level did impact on how one was knowledgeable about sexuality; those with higher levels of education had greater knowledge concerning it. Sexual knowledge of most of the participant was down or insufficient and thus the need for sex education program (Chao, et al. 2010).
Popular Media Outlet Review
A recent post by USA Today on 19 January, 2011 by Michael Winter, titled, "HIV-positive airman sentenced to 8 years for not telling sex partners" is used for the review. The article is about the sentencing of Tech. Sgt. Gutierrez David for eight years for failing to tell his several sexual partners about his HIV status. According to the sentence, he was to be discharged dishonorably. The military judge did found Gutierrez guilty of 7 counts of aggravated sexual assaults, not following orders from his senior (squadron commander), indecent acts on a number of occasions and adultery (Winter, 2011).
It is worth noting that the title in bold plus the wordings, 'HIV' and 'airman' are eye-catching and draws one to pay attention and read the article with lots of concentration. Additionally, the wordings used to report the incident are simple and easy to understand, no jargons were used. The date and time when the article was updated is clearly seen so one can easily establish that indeed it is a recent occurrence/happening.
Among the contributing sources of the information in the article include the court decision executed by the military judge, several interviews with Gutierrez wife which disclosed about his sexual activities. The interview was carried out by agent Toth. R. Several testimonies by the women who had sexual intercourse with him (David) as well as the testimony from his commander Maj. Hague Christopher did contribute to the article's contents. The information provided by these individual are primary sources of data that are authentic, relevant and up to date hence undisputable (Winter, 2011).
It is worth noting that the contributing sources are highly reliable because they have in one way or another directly interacted with the man in question. For instance, those women who had sexual intercourse with him clearly depict their regrets and say if they could have known of his HIV status then, they could not have engaged in such unprotected sexual act. The only problem with these primary sources of data is that they can be biased due to the feeling of the respondent/source.
Comparison of scholarly and popular media resources
The two articles do have several things in common but can be summarized in one statement, knowledge on sexuality and attitudes on sexuality. It is worth noting that both the articles do talk about the issues relating to once knowledge concerning sexuality. It is apparent that having adequate knowledge about issues relating to sex is of paramount significance in human life (Chao ,et al. 2010). It is deemed in both articles that having such knowledge helps people make rational decision concerning issues relating to sixpence avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, and unplanned marriage among other things.
Additionally, both the articles do have sources of information derived from primary sources. For the scholarly article, survey questionnaires were distributed to target sample to collect data while on the popular media report, interviews as well as personal testimonies were used to provide the necessary information. Similarly it is apparent that in these two articles conclusions were drawn after a thorough analysis of the cases presented, the scholarly article called for need to have sexual education program and on the other, the offender was sentenced after being found guilty on a number of offenses.
However, there are clear differences between these two articles. While the scholarly article is well organized and structured; having the abstract, introduction, methodology, results, discussion and conclusion. Through this structure it is easy to locate certain information. The article from USA Today has no structure and it might be difficult for one to easily locate vital information (Winter, 2011). Another difference between them is that the scholarly article is not a personal opinion/researchers' opinion but rather what the general military recruits holds, while the popular media report on sentencing of David constitute opinion of the court based on what those women who engaged in sexual intercourse with the offender presented.
On the same note, while the scholarly article holds that having adequate knowledge in sexuality helps in making rational decisions; it is evident in the other report from the media that even after having such knowledge, there are individuals such as David who will not use that knowledge for the benefits of the society. This is supported by the fact that although he was ordered by his senior to disclose his HIV status to his partners, he failed to do that (Winter, 2011).
Concerning the issue on consumers encountering the scholarly article, they will learn that having knowledge regarding sexuality is significant in life as it will help them in decision concerning their sexual life and take responsibility of the same. Considering the fact that the opinions therein are brought in a manner that depicts the opinion of military recruit, there will be need to develop programs that will help these soldiers learn more on the same. The media report article also echo the same point but from a different angle, that there is need not only to have in place programs that will teach individuals about sexuality but also having in place measures that will compelled individuals to disclose their health status to those they intend to indulge in sexual activities. Consumers will also learn that hiding ones health condition is illegal when it comes to matters of sexuality (Chao ,et al. 2010).
It is worth noting that both articles are backed by information from primary sources usually deemed to be relevant, up to date and authentic. However there are a number of cons associated with each. One problem with the representation of the scholalry article is that the conclusion arrived at might have been subject to biasness. For the media report, it is difficult for one to quickly spot vital information such as the charges laid against David, the judgment unless one goes through the entire article. Additionally, the laws concerning sexual assault might not be updated hence resulting to a conclusion not desired.
Assuming that both are important, the scholarly article is a study carried out by experts in that particular field of sex education hence will solicit for data that is relevant and authentic. Additionally, how the entire works is structured and organized makes it easy for quick perusal hence quickly understanding what the works is all about. It is worth remembering that before any research is done IRB gives it a go a head, hence a clear indication of its relevance. Last but not least, the article obtained data from primary sources such as survey questionnaires and supplemented by secondary source, such mixed study are held to have higher degree of credibility. Popular media report is important because it can easily reach a wider number of people at one given time, is written in a simple language that can be easily, information are derived from primary sources (Winter, 2011).
It is important for students to review these kinds of sources to establish their relevance, credibility and authenticity to make a sound decision on what to use while writing academic articles. Additionally, the review helps student to a make a critical analysis of various sources of information hence widening their level of critique. It is important to have adequate knowledge regarding sexuality; waiting to learn it through experience via common sense can leave humanity especially those with lower level of education in problems of contracting HIV, unwanted pregnancy, unplanned marriage among others (Tung, et al. 2008).
From the review of the two sources of information, it is evident that one is science based while the other, the media report is shape by personal opinion. Regarding the relevance and authenticity of the two sources, scholarly articles are indeed deemed to posses these attributes. Its presentation is in a manner that one can easily scan through and gain insight on what the article is trying to address. Media report are opinionated, prone to biasness and a times lack primary data to support such views held, the structure is not well organized hence difficult to quickly get certain forms of information least one goes through the entire document.
Concerning the issue of sex education, it is not only important to have such programs in place but also strategies that will ensure individuals will disclose their health condition to their partners before indulging in sexual activities.