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Does attractiveness influence condom use intentions in heterosexual men? An experimental study

Does attractiveness influence condom use intentions in heterosexual men? An experimental study
Does attractiveness influence condom use intentions in heterosexual men? An experimental study
Objectives: Judgements of attractiveness have been shown to influence the character of social interactions. The present study sought to better understand the relationship between perceived attractiveness, perceived sexual health status and condom use intentions in a heterosexual male population.

Setting: The study employed an electronic questionnaire to collect all data, during face-to-face sessions.

Participants: 51 heterosexual, English-speaking men aged between 18 and 69?years.

Outcome measures: Men were asked to rate the attractiveness of 20 women on the basis of facial photographs, to estimate the likelihood that each woman had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and to indicate their willingness to have sex with or without a condom with each woman.

Results: The more attractive a woman was judged to be on average, the more likely participants would be willing to have sex with her (p<0.0001) and the less likely they were to intend to use a condom during sex (p<0.0001). Multivariate analysis revealed that higher condom use intentions towards a particular woman were associated with lower ratings of her attractiveness (p<0.0005), higher ratings of her STI likelihood (p<0.0001), the participant being in an exclusive relationship (p=0.002), having a less satisfactory sex life (p=0.015), lower age (p=0.001), higher number of sexual partners (p=0.001), higher age at first intercourse (p=0.002), higher rates of condomless sex in the last 12?months (p<0.043) and lower confidence in their ability to assess whether or not a woman had an STI (p=0.001). The more attractive a participant judged himself to be, the more he believed that other men like him would engage in condomless sex (p=0.001) and the less likely he was to intend to use a condom himself (p=0.02).

Conclusions: Male perceptions of attractiveness influence their condom use intentions; such risk biases could profitably be discussed during sex education sessions and in condom use promotion interventions.
STIs, condoms, sexual health
1-11
Eleftheriou, Anastasia
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Bullock, Seth
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Graham, Cynthia
ac400331-f231-4449-a69b-ec9a477224c8
Stone, Nicole
39001f79-4193-4106-9490-152c2f018958
Ingham, Roger
e3f11583-dc06-474f-9b36-4536dc3f7b99
Eleftheriou, Anastasia
9cfa9aa1-adb1-4cf4-b624-f2d2a6fa3d86
Bullock, Seth
2ad576e4-56b8-4f31-84e0-51bd0b7a1cd3
Graham, Cynthia
ac400331-f231-4449-a69b-ec9a477224c8
Stone, Nicole
39001f79-4193-4106-9490-152c2f018958
Ingham, Roger
e3f11583-dc06-474f-9b36-4536dc3f7b99

Eleftheriou, Anastasia, Bullock, Seth, Graham, Cynthia, Stone, Nicole and Ingham, Roger (2016) Does attractiveness influence condom use intentions in heterosexual men? An experimental study. BMJ Open, 6 (6), 1-11, [e010883]. (doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010883). (PMID:27315834)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives: Judgements of attractiveness have been shown to influence the character of social interactions. The present study sought to better understand the relationship between perceived attractiveness, perceived sexual health status and condom use intentions in a heterosexual male population.

Setting: The study employed an electronic questionnaire to collect all data, during face-to-face sessions.

Participants: 51 heterosexual, English-speaking men aged between 18 and 69?years.

Outcome measures: Men were asked to rate the attractiveness of 20 women on the basis of facial photographs, to estimate the likelihood that each woman had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and to indicate their willingness to have sex with or without a condom with each woman.

Results: The more attractive a woman was judged to be on average, the more likely participants would be willing to have sex with her (p<0.0001) and the less likely they were to intend to use a condom during sex (p<0.0001). Multivariate analysis revealed that higher condom use intentions towards a particular woman were associated with lower ratings of her attractiveness (p<0.0005), higher ratings of her STI likelihood (p<0.0001), the participant being in an exclusive relationship (p=0.002), having a less satisfactory sex life (p=0.015), lower age (p=0.001), higher number of sexual partners (p=0.001), higher age at first intercourse (p=0.002), higher rates of condomless sex in the last 12?months (p<0.043) and lower confidence in their ability to assess whether or not a woman had an STI (p=0.001). The more attractive a participant judged himself to be, the more he believed that other men like him would engage in condomless sex (p=0.001) and the less likely he was to intend to use a condom himself (p=0.02).

Conclusions: Male perceptions of attractiveness influence their condom use intentions; such risk biases could profitably be discussed during sex education sessions and in condom use promotion interventions.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 7 April 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 June 2016
Published date: 17 June 2016
Keywords: STIs, condoms, sexual health
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 397246
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/397246
PURE UUID: 527f4cf6-661b-41db-984b-a4953a807062
ORCID for Cynthia Graham: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7884-599X
ORCID for Nicole Stone: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0995-8699

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 Jun 2016 12:32
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:17

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