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Advocacy Campaign for Women's Reproductive Health and Access on Social Media
Student Research Symposium
  • Rachel Crist, Portland State University
  • Jules Montes, Portland State University
  • Lauren Frank, Portland State University
Portland State University
Start Date
4-5-2016 12:00 PM
End Date
4-5-2016 2:00 PM
  • Birth control -- United States,
  • Social media,
  • Digital media -- Social aspects,
  • Sexual health
Advocacy organizations increasingly rely on social media (e.g. Twitter hashtags) to foster issue awareness. Social media platforms can be promising communication channels to reach diverse audiences; however, it is unclear how effective these campaigns are at reaching audience members whose views do not align with the campaign. Using diffusion of innovations as a theoretical framework, this study examines the #BirthControlHelpedMe campaign to better understand the response to an advocacy campaign promoted via Twitter. Focus groups were conducted separately for men and women. The moderator led participants in a semi-structured discussion of perceptions of birth control. Participants were then shown example tweets that used the #BirthControlHelpedMe hashtag, and asked about their response to the campaign. The discussion ended with whether the campaign would cause them to talk more openly with their peers about birth control. Female participants felt that they would be more likely to speak openly with friends and acquaintances. The majority of male participants did not feel that the campaign would cause them to change their communication about birth control. Both groups expressed that they would not be comfortable posting online using #BirthControlHelpedMe due to the presence of individuals in their networks that hold negative perspectives on birth control. This study raises the issue of audience diversity, taboo topics and the need to include men in issues surrounding birth control. Future awareness campaigns that employ social media should consider how peer influence can affect behavior and limit the spread of an awareness campaign.
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Citation Information
Rachel Crist, Jules Montes and Lauren Frank. "Advocacy Campaign for Women's Reproductive Health and Access on Social Media" (2016)
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