Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2012

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Community Health Sciences

First Advisor

Charkarra Anderson-Lewis

Advisor Department

Community Health Sciences


Objective: Both young men and women should obtain the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in order to reach its intended public health benefits. Because men are behind in this vaccination campaign, this study compared knowledge and attitudes regarding HPV and the vaccine among college-aged men and women in order to improve vaccination strategies among this at-risk population.

Methods: A convenience sample of 95 university students, 40 men and 55 women, ages 18 to 26 (mean age of 20.2) completed self-administered pencil-and-paper questionnaires with approximately 40 questions that assessed the desired variables. Knowledge was measured through multiple choice and true/false questions. Attitudes were measured by Likert scale responses following theoretical framework. Data were analyzed and summarized through descriptive statistics using SPSS software.

Results: Awareness of the HPV vaccine’s availability for men was significantly low for both genders, particularly for men. Health practitioners’ and parents’ approval both play a pivotal role in considering the vaccine. For men, peers’ approval was also important in this decision-making process. Overall, females showed higher rates of awareness in HPV and the vaccine and indicated more positive social norms associated with obtaining the vaccine.

Conclusions: According to the results of this study, the HPV vaccine is still prevalently associated with female health and therefore detracting from the male consumer. In order to increase uptake of the HPV vaccine in both genders, a gender neutral vaccine campaign that does not focus on one specific health issue is suggested.