Skip to comments.Many U.S. College Students Not Using Condoms
Posted on 11/19/2001 4:37:58 AM PST by Olydawg
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Although US college students are at risk for sexually transmitted infection (STI), most do not use condoms consistently, new research shows.
Dr. Marla Eisenberg of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, looked at sexual health behaviors among more than 8,500 undergraduate students nationwide. The students filled out anonymous surveys as part of the 1997 College Alcohol Study.
Although almost three-quarters (71%) said they were sexually experienced, less than half (43%) said they always used condoms and almost a quarter (24%) said they never did. The results appear in the December issue of the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
Students older than 23 and those who lived off-campus were among those least likely to use condoms, the study indicates. This may be because they are ``more likely to be involved in steady relationships and use other forms of birth control than the traditional 18- to 22-year-old, dorm-living college student,'' said Eisenberg, now at the University of Minnesota's National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Research Center.
The study also found that men with more partners reported less condom use--a potentially risky combination.
Men who only had sexual intercourse with other men were less likely to use condoms than their peers who only had sex with women. The reason is unclear, but it may be a response to the development of HIV (news - web sites)-fighting drugs, noted Eisenberg.
``The social norms around condom use among gay men have changed considerably in the wake of new treatments for HIV/AIDS (news - web sites),'' she told Reuters Health in an interview. ``And the energy previously placed on promoting condom use in this population has fallen somewhat now that fewer friends and lovers are dying of the disease.''
Unlike past research on college students' sexual behaviors, this study asked thousands of students to disclose whether they'd had sexual experience with opposite sex partners, same sex partners, or both. Most previous studies have only included a few hundred students asked to identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual--potentially leaving out a large number of students who have had same-sex experience but tend to avoid such labels.
Another problem with previous research, noted Eisenberg, is that it lumps together women who have had only same-sex experience with those who have had sex with both men and women. This may be ``inappropriate,'' given that the latter group is more likely to have multiple partners, raising their risk profile, she said.
The number of students using condoms may not directly translate to the number who practice ``safe sex,'' Eisenberg added. Many students may rely on other forms of birth control and STI prevention, such as oral contraceptives in a monogamous partnership, she explained.
That having been said, how accurate is the poll? I'm sure that male college students would NEVER inflate the number of their, um, 'conquests'......
Why is an alcohol survey so concerned about sexual habits and living arrangements?
I tend to believe that these studies are corrupting in and of themselves. When my wife was a student in college, she went to the Student Health Center due to an illness. The Health Center had her fill out a very detailed survey about all kinds of sexual activity. She said she was embarrassed by the questions but had to complete the survey before being treated.
Seventy-one percent? They must have inadvertently used data from middle schol students.
Alcohol consumption and sexual activity are directly proportional among college students. If they're not using condoms, it's probably because they're too inebriated to be able to get the package opened.
I'm not a PHD, but wouldn't the fact that a guy has yet to get another guy pregnant have something to do with it?
Gov't spent millions to discover that college students drink beer. And occasionally, they drink it to excess. Imagine that.
Of course, I've never even tasted beer. I once knew a guy who did, though. ;)
Was the question of "satisfaction" and condom use even asked? Probably the most relevant issue among this age group, IMHO.
gosh, if they're that wasted, there's probably not even any need to worry...
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