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Condom Characteristics: The Perceptions and Preferences of Men in the United States

William R. Grady, Daniel H. Klepinger, John O. G. Billy and Koray Tanfer
Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 25, No. 2 (Mar. - Apr., 1993), pp. 67-73
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
DOI: 10.2307/2136208
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2136208
Page Count: 7
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Condom Characteristics: The Perceptions and Preferences of Men in the United States
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Abstract

Perceptions regarding the consequences of condom use, as well as preferred characteristics of condoms, are examined in a nationally representative sample of 3,321 men aged 20-39. The psychological and interpersonal effect most often cited is that using a condom "shows that you are a concerned and caring person." This is particularly the case among black men and men who are young and have low educational attainments. However, the same men usually agree that using a condom sends unwanted messages to one's partner--for example, that doing so "makes your partner think that you have AIDS" and "shows that you think that your partner has AIDS." In contrast, white men and those who are highly educated tend to cite embarrassment when buying condoms as a frequent consequence of condom use. The device-related consequences cited most often, particularly among black, unmarried, young and poorly educated men, are that using a condom results in reduced sensation, that one must be careful during sex or the condom may break and that one must withdraw quickly after sex or the condom may come off. When purchasing condoms, most men look for those that are easy to put on, have the right amount of lubrication and stay on; these preferences are particularly prevalent among black men. Few men identify color, ribbing and partner's preference for condom type as important.

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