Burgess, Melinda C. R.; Murray, Ashley B.
June 2014
College Student Journal;Summer2014, Vol. 48 Issue 2, p234
Academic Journal
Currently, in the United States, there exist numerous public awareness campaigns about breast cancer. Many of these campaigns are highly sexualized, focusing on the breasts as an object of fun, as opposed to focusing on information about prevention/diagnosis/treatment. In spite of their popularity, it is unknown what effect they actually have on knowledge about breast cancer, particularly in their target audience of young adults. We surveyed 255 college students to investigate the relationship of awareness of breast cancer campaigns and their knowledge of the risk factors, symptoms, and detection of breast cancer and recommendations regarding breast health. We found that while awareness of campaigns was positively correlated with knowledge of symptoms and diagnostic methods, it was not related to accurate knowledge of risk factors. Further, there was a difference in knowledge between those familiar with the sexualized prototype of I V Boobies and the knowledge prototype of the Susan G. Komen campaigns. While awareness is an admirable goal, it does not appear that the sexualized campaigns are doing more than titillating young adults, while the more staid but informative campaigns do appear to improve knowledge. Future research should examine whether the sexualized campaigns increase interest in attaining knowledge.


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