Contraceptive Attitudes and Intention to Use Condoms in Sexually Experienced and Inexperienced Adolescent Males

Joseph H. Pleck, Freya L. Sonenstein, Leighton C. ku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


In the 1988 National Survey of Adolescent Males, about three fifths of sexually experienced and inexperienced adolescent males intending to have sex in the next year reported there is an “almost certain chance” they will use a condom with a hypothetical future partner. Sexually experienced males report lower perceived costs for condom use related to embarrassment (assessed in a subjective expected utility format) than do inexperienced males. However, experienced males perceive condoms as being more costly in terms of reduction of pleasure. The perceived benefits of using condoms in terms of preventing pregnancy and gaining appreciation from the partner, and attitudinal endorsement of male responsibility in contraception more generally, are similar for the two groups. Among both the sexually experienced and inexperienced, believing that males are responsible for contraception and, to a lesser extent, perceiving that condoms have low costs in terms of reduction of pleasure and high benefits in gaining the partner's appreciation influence intent to use a condom. Attitudes discounting the risk of AIDS reduce intended condom use in both groups. For the sexually inexperienced, other factors associated with intention to use a condom include metropolitan residence, high educational aspirations, and self-esteem. For the experienced, not being Hispanic, holding religion to be important, liberal attitudes about the male sex role, worry about AIDS, and condom use at last intercourse also predict intended condom use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-312
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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