Thought of ‘reduced’ pleasure makes teens avoid condoms

September 10th, 2008 - 12:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 10 (IANS) A fourth of the teenagers in the US will end up with a sexually transmitted disease because they prefer not to use condoms regularly, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Teens avoiding condoms believed that they reduced sexual pleasure and were also more concerned about their partner’s disapproving condom use, according to a study.

Researchers from Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Centre (BHCRC) and three other institutions surveyed more than 1,400 adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 21 who had unprotected sex in the previous 90 days. The findings will appear in the September/October issue of Public Health Reports.

“It’s clear that we have to address these attitudes, fears and concerns that many teens have regarding condom use, if we want to reduce their risk for contracting a sexually transmitted infection,” said co-author Larry K. Brown of BHCRC.

“The good news is that these attitudes may be easily influenced and changed through clinical and community-based interventions.”

Participants in Atlanta, Miami and Providence completed an audio computer-assisted interview to gather information about sexual risk behaviours including condom use within the previous 90 days.

Questions included attitudes and perceptions about condom use, and communication and negotiation with partners. The group included 797 females and 613 males. Approximately half were African American, 24 percent were Hispanic and 19 percent were white.

Nearly two-thirds of adolescents did not use a condom the last time they had sex. Participants also reported an average of two partners and about 15 incidents of unprotected sexual activity within the 90-day period.

Besides concerns about reduced sexual pleasure and partner disapproval, teens avoiding condoms use were also less likely to discuss them with partners. These findings held true across racial / ethnic groups, gender and geographic locations.

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