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Alcohol Consumption, Brothel Attendance, and Condom Use: Normative Expectations among Thai Military Conscripts

Kathleen M. MacQueen, Taweesak Nopkesorn, Michael D. Sweat, Yothin Sawaengdee, Timothy D. Mastro and Bruce G. Weniger
Medical Anthropology Quarterly
New Series, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Sep., 1996), pp. 402-423
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/649131
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Alcohol Consumption, Brothel Attendance, and Condom Use: Normative Expectations among Thai Military Conscripts
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Abstract

This article investigates the relationship between alcohol consumption and inconsistent condom use with brothel-based commercial sex workers among Thai military conscripts in Northern Thailand. Data from 10 focus groups indicate that alcohol consumption (1) is consciously used by men to reduce inhibitions that constrain their interpersonal interaction with women and with each other; (2) reduces inhibitions of individuals to sexual risk taking; (3) provides a socially acceptable excuse for nonuse of condoms; (4) is associated by conscripts with brothel attendance; and (5) is seen to enhance male sexual pleasure, in contrast to condoms, which are said to reduce pleasure. Understanding the culturally defined expectations that surround alcohol consumption and sexual behavior is critical for developing realistic interventions to reduce HIV transmission.

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