Adolescent Males’ Sexual Behavior and Contraceptive Use: Implications for Male Responsibility

Joseph H. Pleck, Freya L. Sonenstein, Scott O. Swain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In data from the 1979 National Survey of Young Men, slightly under a fifth (17. 1%) of never married 17-21 year old metropolitan-area males reported using a condom at first intercourse, and almost the same propor tion (15.5%) reported condom use at most recent intercourse. In addi tion, withdrawal was also frequently reported as a contraceptive method (10.0 and 7.4%). Condom use had both positive and negative correlates. It was associated with being older at first intercourse, having higher actual or aspired education, having a closer relationship with the partner, and believing the male has sole contraceptive responsibility. At the same time, in their current sexual behavior, condom users tended to be youn ger, and not to believe in shared responsibility for contraception. These data may be interpreted as indicating that adolescent males abdicate responsibility for contraception as they become more sexually experi enced. Alternatively, these data may show that condom use is develop mentally a transitional phenomenon, and that male responsibility takes different forms later (compared to earlier) in adolescent males’ sexual experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of adolescent research
StatePublished - Jul 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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