There’s no easy way to talk about a sexually transmitted infection with a partner. In many cases, people feel embarrassed about any problems with their sexual health, they tend to avoid the subject completely. This can cause poor communication in a relationship, it could also be dangerous, because those with STDs could pass them on to a partner.
The biggest part of having a frank discussion is breaking down the stigma so often associated with STDs in the first place. A study conducted at Ohio State University indicates that TV shows like Sex and The City may actually help erase that barrier. In fact, participants who watched the show were found to be twice as likely to talk to their partners about STDs after seeing their favorite characters touch on the subject.
The experiment focused on a talk between the characters Samantha and Miranda, who spoke about HIV and chlamydia. One group of participants saw the unedited version, which featured an in-depth conversation about the STDs. In another version, the women only briefly touched on the subject. A third one didn’t show it at all.
Two weeks later, researchers gave out questionnaires and discovered that 46 percent of the participants from the first group had mentioned the topics with a partner. Only 21 percent and 15 percent of individuals from the second and third group said that they had done the same.
This may seem to be an unconventional way to approach safer sex education, but it can be an especially pertinent tool on college campuses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that one of the most effective ways to prevent common STDs is to wear a condom every time you go to the bedroom with a partner.