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

BMJ Open, 2016;6:e010883 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-01088, 17 June 2016

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.

Full text of paper (Open Access) available here

NB: The sample size of this study is small and not very diverse 

Women on average are physiologically sexually aroused to both male and female sexual stimuli

University of Essex, 05 November 2015

When it comes to what turns them on, women are either bisexual or gay, but never straight, according to a new study by the University of Essex.

Whereas previous research has shown that women generally are sexually aroused by both men and women to varying degrees, it overlooked the differences between women who are straight or gay.

  • Read more of press release from University of Essex here
  • View article abstract for ‘Sexual Arousal and Masculinity-Femininity of Women’ here

Why Straight Men Have Sex With Each Other

nymag.com, August 5, 2015

When straight women hook up with other straight women, no real explanation is required; when straight men hook up with other straight men, it’s a different story.

This divide stems from a common understanding of human sexuality: The female variety of it is more malleable, more inherently open to experimentation and variety, than the male variety. In Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men, out last month from NYU Press, Jane Ward, an associate professor of women’s studies at the University of California, Riverside, makes the case that this is a flawed understanding.

Read more here

Genital warts in young Australians 5 years into national HPV vaccination programme

BMJ; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2032 

Objective To measure the effect on genital warts of the national human papillomavirus vaccination programme in Australia, which started in mid-2007.

Conclusions The significant declines in the proportion of young women found to have genital warts and the absence of genital warts in vaccinated women in 2011 suggests that the human papillomavirus vaccine has a high efficacy outside of the trial setting. Large declines in diagnoses of genital warts in heterosexual men are probably due to herd immunity.

Read more here

 

CDC releases new draft guidelines supporting male circumcision

Two Aussie men on what living with HIV is really like

news.com.au, November 21, 2014 9:47 AM

Steve and Theo are two Aussie guys living with HIV. It’s cost them jobs, friendships and their mental wellbeing. They’ve shared their stories.

Read more here