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The association between condom use, type of sexual relationship and sexual practice in a Swedish region
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Despite large investments in prevention, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) continues to be a severe problem in Sweden, especially among young people. In Sweden, condoms are recommended for use in tan-dem with another contraceptive in new or casual sexual relationships. Con-dom use to prevent STI transmission differs from its contraceptive in that it must be used in a much larger scale in order to serve as an adequate protec-tion. Here we address questions if—and how—condom use differs between a broad categorization of sexual relationships and sexual practices than what commonly are used in this type of study. Detailed data on the sexual behav-ior of participants during the previous 12 months were collected at nine youth clinics in the Västra Götaland region of Sweden. Participants were sexually active women and men between 15 and 26 years old who visited these clinics for a STI test. Overall, condom use was low irrespective of type of partner and type of sex. Approximately 20 percent of the participants nev-er used condoms during the preceding 12 months. For vaginal sex, the par-ticipants were more likely ‘always’ to use condoms with casual known part-ners as compared to casual unknown partners. If participants had a main or regular partner, they were more likely to use condoms ‘sometimes’ rather than ‘never’ compared to if they had a casual unknown partner. All sexual practices followed this basic pattern. There were few age and sex differ-ences. It is important to understand that young people visiting youth clinics in Sweden—despite efforts to promote condoms use—have unprotected, oral, vaginal, and anal sex, with both known and unknown partners. More effective programs must be developed in Sweden to promote condom use in relationships where the partners are not monogamous as in casual contacts and non monogamous regular contacts (e.g. ‘fuck buddies’).

National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108896OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-108896DiVA: diva2:761450
Available from: 2014-11-06 Created: 2014-11-06 Last updated: 2014-11-07
In thesis
1. Play with fire, play with you sometimes: Social aspects of condom use among young people in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Play with fire, play with you sometimes: Social aspects of condom use among young people in Sweden
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Although Sweden invests a great deal of money and effort in prevention work, STIs are a major problem in our society. Young people are at high risk both when it comes to unwanted pregnancies and STIs and several studies have revealed that the condom use is quite low. Condom use is a complex issue. There are often several factors that interact and affect the decision to use or not use condom. The result in this thesis shows that young people have behavioral expectation to use condom, especially for anal sex and vaginal sex with a casual partner (both known and unknown). At the same time, the condom use is low irrespective of type of partner and type of sex. Approximately 20 % of the participants never used a condom during the preceding 12 months. Most of the participants said that reason for their use or non-use was based on partner evaluation. However, our participants indicate that there often is a deeper reason why they do not use condoms. Women talk about their male partner’s resistance against condom use. Men in the other hand mention the problem with fit and feel especially problems related to erection problems when they have been drinking alcohol. One of the most interesting findings is that the participants’ view of sex affected their condom use. Those with a relaxed view (e.g., did not connect love with sex and had had more sexual partners during the past 12 months) had fewer occasions of unprotected vaginal intercourse compared with the participants with a traditional view (e.g., often associated sex with vaginal penetration).The most important thing we need to do is increase ’men’s sense of responsibility and involve them in the prevention work. It is also important that the condom counseling is individualized. It is not enough to simply speak about condom use in general; instead we need to relate condom use to sexual practice and partner type but also to the individuals’ specific condom problem.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 2014. 133 p.
Series
Stockholm studies in sociology, ISSN 0491-0885 ; N.S., 58
Keyword
adolescents, alcohol, behavioral expectations, Chlamydia Trachomatis, condom use, contraceptive use, gender, mixed-methods, sexual behavior, sexual practice, sexual relationships, STI, Sweden, youth
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108900 (URN)978-91-7649-038-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-12-12, De Geersalen, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Epub ahead of print. Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-11-20 Created: 2014-11-06 Last updated: 2014-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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