Davidson-harden, Jennifer; Fisher, William A.; Davidson, Paul R.
March 2000
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;Spring2000, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
This study assessed attitudes toward young adults who initiate condom use in the context of exclusive dating relationships. Male and female undergraduates (N=120) were randomly assigned to read one of three scenarios in which a university aged couple engaged in sexual intercourse for the first time with each other one month into such a relationship. The scenarios differed only in that one did not mention condom use, another had the female initiate condom use, and the third had male initiation of condom use. In all cases, it was stated that the female was using oral contraception. The participants rated their perceptions of the characters on scales designed for that purpose. Contrary to hypotheses developed front a review of the relevant literature, individuals who initiated condom use, and their partner's were rated as being more rather than less responsible than in the no condom condition. Ratings of commitment to partner, kindness, and social attractiveness were unaffected (i.e. not diminished) by condom initiation or use. Both initiator and partner were rated as more sexually knowledgeable, but not inure sexually experienced, than in the no condom condition. The sex of the rater had little impact on the foregoing assessments but sex of character had an effect on pooled ratings for responsibility (female character higher) and sexual experience and number of partners (male character higher). In general, the findings suggest that the undergraduates in this study looked favourably rather than unfavourably on individuals of either sex who initiated condom use in art exclusive dating relationship even when oral contraception was already being used.


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