Sluts’ or ‘Sleazy Little Animals’? : Young People’s Difficulties with Carrying and Using Condoms

Wendy Loxley

A survey of 105 young people (mean age, 18.3 years) from Perth, Western Australia, revealed significant obstacles to carrying and using condoms. Respondent were asked to describe their perceptions of what the opposite sex thinks of young women/young men who carry condoms. Although both men and women were concerned that carrying condoms would have a negative effect on their reputation, these fears generally were not matched by the responses of the opposite gender. 45% of men were positive about women carrying condoms, yet only 10% of women thought that men would be supportive; 40% believed that men would consider women who carry condoms ‘sluts,’ but only 18% of men had such negative views. Similarly, while only 24% of men believed women would support their carrying condoms, the actual rate was 36%. When asked to describe actual experiences with condom use, 71% reported negative experiences (e.g., condom broke while being put on or fell off during sex, loss of sexual arousal), 32% gave neutral responses, and only 5% were positive. Few respondents had used lubricated condoms. Recommended is the provision of inter-gender information to reduce the misperception that neither males nor females approve of the other sex carrying condoms and to promote the correct use of lubricated condoms.

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Research Type(s)
Journal Article
Submitted by Toksave
March 23, 2021
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