A new scientific study in published in The Journal of Sex Research suggests it is common for young women to convince their partners to have unprotected sex.
Young adults in the United States bear a disproportionate share of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They account for half of new STIs each year, despite making up about one-quarter of the sexually-active population.
Condoms are the most effective means of preventing the transmission of STIs — but many men and women still refuse to use them.
The new study of 235 sexually-active heterosexual women, ages 18 to 20, found that condom use resistance tactics were common.
The researchers found that roughly half of the women reported successfully convincing a man who wanted to use a condom to not use one. The participants reported successfully resisting condom use an average of 16 times since the age of 14.
The most common tactics used were seduction and risk reassurance — meaning getting a man so sexually excited that he agreed to have sex without a condom and convincing a man that a condom is unnecessary because she was “clean.”
Some women also said that they complained condoms made sex less enjoyable, told their partner they would be angry if they used a condom, or simply asked their partner not use a condom.
About 3 percent of women said they had convinced a man not to use a condom by withholding sex or sabotaging the condom. A slightly smaller percentage reported using physical force to prevent a man from getting a condom.
Alcohol consumption and lower perceived risk of STIs were both linked to a greater number of condom use resistance tactics.
The researchers also found that women with a history of STIs were much more likely to use condom use resistance tactics than women without a history. But the cross-sectional nature of the study made it impossible to draw any conclusions about cause and effect.
The study, “Tactics Young Women Use to Resist Condom Use When a Partner Wants to Use a Condom“, was authored by Rhiana Wegner, Melissa A. Lewis, Kelly Cue Davis, Elizabeth C. Neilson and Jeanette Norris.