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Spring 2015

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


Reducing STDs, Gaining Insight

Better communication could increase use of female condoms 

illustration of female condom by Dan Bejar

Teens and young adults account for nearly half of new sexually transmitted infections every year. One reason why may be their general ignorance of a device that can protect against those diseases as well as unplanned pregnancies: the female condom.

First introduced in the United States in 1993, female condoms drew little interest due to mixed or negative portrayals in the media, among other reasons. Communication faculty members Charla Markham Shaw and Karishma Chatterjee were recently the first to look at how college-age young adults view them. They discovered that only a few of the 18- to 24-year-old students they surveyed had ever used or even seen female condoms.

The researchers believe the reason may be the way information about female condoms is communicated to young people. After participating in education sessions, most of the surveyed students came to view the device as a viable way to practice safe sex. Nearly 52 percent of the female participants said what they most liked about the female condom was its design, while men most liked the protection it provides.

“Both women and men must be considered when developing messages about the female condom,” says Dr. Markham Shaw, who is also chair of the Department of Communication. “Partner acceptance is key in successful adoption of new sexual health technologies.”

Illustration by Dan Bejar

More articles from this issue

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