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The role of sexuality in cervical cancer screening among Chinese women Woo, Jane Siu Tim

Abstract

Chinese women have significantly lower rates of Pap testing than Euro-Canadian women despite efforts to promote testing. Evidence suggests that Chinese women's reluctance to undergo Pap testing may be related to culture-linked discomfort with sexuality. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of sexuality in the interaction between acculturation and Pap testing. Euro-Canadian (n = 213) and Chinese (n = 260) female university students completed a battery of questionnaires. Euro-Canadian women had significantly more accurate sexual knowledge, higher levels of sexual functioning, a broader repertoire of sexual activities and higher Pap testing rates. Chinese women were more likely to cite embarrassment as a barrier to Pap testing. Heritage acculturation, but not Mainstream acculturation, predicted Chinese women's Pap testing behaviour. Mainstream acculturation was associated with more accurate sexual knowledge, greater sexual desire and satisfaction. The findings provide support for the hypothesis that low Pap testing rates in Chinese women are related to cultural attitudes towards sexuality and highlight the importance of taking into account sexuality in seeking to understand cervical cancer screening among cultural groups.

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