Issues in Sexuality Essay

Issues in Sexuality: Scholarly vs. Popular Media


The issues of human sexuality had been on the center of the societal debate since time immemorial. Various platforms have been used to explore the issues and their relation to human daily life. The media forms that key platform where issues of human sexuality from a diverse background are expressed, analyzed and debated in details. In this article, in-depth analysis of the scholarly articles and review of popular media resources on sexuality will be conducted in order to depict the difference in exploring the issues. In this paper, an academic article titled “Sexual Knowledge, attitudes and activity of men conscripted into the military” by Jiankang, Chao et al. will be studied. For the purpose of comparison, a recent post by the USA Today titled “HIV-positive Airman sentenced to eight years for not telling sex partners” by Michael Winter will be studied. This because it apparent that a difference exist between how scholarly and popular media resource address the issues of human sexuality.

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Scholarly Article Summary

In an article by Chao et al., the major aspect of the paper revolves around the attitude, knowledge, values and the skills concerning the issues of sexuality. It is apparent that the battle against HIV/AIDS requires the parties involved having adequate knowledge to handle the issue effectively. Hence, it of great importance to ensure that people have adequate skills and knowledge that enables them to address the issue effectively. The article aims to offer evidence required for the development of a better-sex-based education program to be applied in high school (Chao et al, 2010). The piece provides an exhaustive analysis of the sexual attitude, knowledge and behavior of the young persons recruited to the military services. Moreover, the article also strives to examine the differences in social, demographic aspects between the recruited men who had or didn’t have sexual experiences (Chao et al, 2010).

The investigation was completed through the use of both primary and secondary data sources. The primary data was collected from a group of newly recruited military persons in Taiwan between January and July 2009. The target of population was aged between 18-29 years and could read and complete the provided questionnaires. In order to facilitate the process of data collection, questionnaires were issued to approximately 1230 recruits. From the outcome of the study, the authors of the article established that more that 43 percent of the participant in the study had sexual experiences at least once in their life (Chao et al, 2010). Moreover, 34 percent indicated to have had heterosexual oral sex and 7.0 percent claimed to have engaged in homosexual intercourse. The study further revealed that 7.5 percent of the participant had experienced homosexual oral sex in the last one year prior to recruitment to the military service. It was also evident from the investigation that education level did influence individual’s knowledge about sexuality. Individual with higher levels of education evidently showed a greater understanding of sexual issues. Nonetheless, the study indicated that sexual knowledge of most recruits was insufficient, and thus sex education program was essential (Chao et al, 2010).

Popular Media Resource Summary

In a recent post on USA Today, Michael Winter posted an article titled “HIV –positive airman sentenced to eight years for not telling sex partners.” The article explores the indictment of air force sergeant Gutierrez David for 8-year jail term for nondisclosure of HIV status to his sexual associates. Moreover, the sergeant was discharged dishonorably from the service because of indecent behaviors, adultery and several count disobeying orders (Winter, 2014). The military court found the sergeant guilty of seven counts of serious sexual assaults, and failure to follow orders from his squadron commander.

It is imperative to note that headline of the resource is bold, and the wordings are captivating, ‘HIV and Airman’ word both are eye-catching and attract an individual to pay attention to read the article with a lot of attentiveness. Moreover, the wording used by the reporter in the article is simple, explicit and easy to understand. The reporter uses no jargon in the article thus making it tranquil for the audience to comprehend the message being communicated (Winter, 2014). Moreover, the date and time since the article was updated is clear making it easy for the reader realized that the occurrence was recent. The key sources of the information for the article includes the court decision issued by the military judge and a number of interviews conducted with the Gutierrez’s wife who disclosed his husband indecent sexual activities. According to the article, the interview was conducted by agent Troth. In addition, several testimonials from the women David had sexual escapade with David, as well as the evidence from Commander Hague Christopher provided the content for the paper. The information provided by the above individual acts as primary sources of information thus making the article authentic, relevant and undisputable (Winter, 2014).

It is vital to point that all backing sources to the article are highly reliable because they are in one way or the other connected to man at the center of the article. For example, women with whom the sergeant had a sexual affair with explicitly express their regrets and claim that if they had known his HIV status they could have excised restraint and caution before engaging in unprotected sexual act (Winter, 2014). However, although they are primary sources of information, it is apparent that they can be biased due to psychological feeling of the respondent. Therefore, their predicament and opinion regarding the issue need to be adopted with a lot of caution.

Scholarly vs. Popular Media Resources

In-depth examination of the two articles, it is apparent that they have some commonalities because they both offer insightful knowledge on the attitude and knowledge on sexuality. It is indispensable to point that both pieces address the matters linking to knowledge on human sexuality. The article emphasis on the importance of having adequate knowledge on issues relating to sex as paramount in human sexuality life. It is perceived in both articles that possession of such knowledge enables people to make a decisive decision relating to avoidance of sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned marriage and pregnancy among other issues. Moreover, the two articles utilize primary sources as a key source of information, an aspect that enhances the credibility of the two articles. In a scholarly article, questionnaires were provided to the sample population to collect the data while on the popular media article, an interview complemented with personal testimonies were used where necessary to collect the data (Chao et al, 2010). In addition, the conclusion of the articles was derived after a thorough analysis of the case presented. For instance, the scholarly article conclusion emphasizes on the need to establish sexual education program in order to disseminate the much-needed information on human sexuality. On the other hand, the popular source notes that the sexual offender was jailed after being found guilty of a number of sexual offenses and disobedience of executive orders (Winter, 2014).

Nevertheless, there are distinguishable dissimilarities between the two pieces. The scholarly article is well organized and structured. This divided into different sections that include an abstract, introduction, methodology, outcome, discussion and a conclusion. Consequently, the article makes it simple for the reader to locate specific information of interest to the reader. In contrast, the article from USA today has no formal structure hence makes it difficult to locate vital information inside the article. Moreover, the scholarly article does not reflect individual opinion about the topic of study but rather is reports the outcome of the study based on empirical evidence. On the contrary, the popular media reports the sentencing to the Sergeant Gutierrez, whose opinion is based on the accounts of women who engaged in sexually with the offender.

The scholarly article upholds that presence of adequate knowledge on sexuality enables an individual on making rational decisions. However, it is apparent that the media source shows that even with the knowledge; there are individuals such as Sergeant Gutierrez who will fail to utilize such knowledge for the benefit of the society. Although Sergeant Gutierrez was ordered by his commander in the squadron to disclose his HIV status to all his partners, the sergeant still failure to honor the command (Winter, 2014).

Readers getting access to the scholarly article will learn that having knowledge on sexuality is important in life because it enables them to make a decision that governs their sexual life. Putting into consideration that opinions and facts from the study depicts the opinion of the military recruit, it will be essential to develop a program that will enable the soldiers to learn more on the topic. The popular media article also emphasizes a similar point though from a different angle. The article points to need of not only establishing the education programs, but also an institution of measures that compel individual to disclose their health status to their sexual partners. Moreover, the reader will realize that it’s illegal to fail to disclose any existing health condition principally when it deals with matters of sexuality.

It is important noting that both articles are supported by information from primary sources that are perceived to be authentic, relevant an update source of information. Nonetheless, the two articles though informative have a number of cons. The conclusion arrived on the basis of the study maybe subject to biases. In the media report resource, it’s challenging to get important information such as the charges laid against Sergeant Gutierrez without scanning the entire article. Moreover, the laws relating to sexual assault may be not updated in the article hence leading to making of undesirable conclusion. Nonetheless, assuming that both articles are informative to the reader, it essential to notes that scholarly article is written by an expert in issues of human sexuality hence solicit for authentic and relevant information. In addition, the paper has well-organized structures making it simple peruse quickly and gain an in-depth understanding of the content. Lastly, the primary source of data is supplemented with secondary source thus giving the paper a higher degree of credibility. This is a key reason instructor’s emphasis on the need to use peer-reviewed article in learning rather than popular media source.


In conclusion, the in-depth analysis of the two articles reveals differences in the way scholarly and popular media resource communicate their findings to the reader. It is apparent that a scholarly article is science-based while the popular resource is largely shaped by personal point of view. In regard to authenticity and relevance, the scholarly article is perceived to possess such attributes, and its presentation appears organized and structured. Media resource appears to be largely opinionated and hence prone to personal biases and lack primary data support. In regard to the issues of human sexuality addressed by both article, it is not only vital of institute education program without strategies that will enable individuals to disclose their health status to their sexual partners. Therefore, it will be essential for learners to evaluate such sources in order to establish their credibility, relevance and authenticity before using them in academic purposes. Moreover, critical analysis of any source of information widens the learner’s level of critique.