Study Finds Young Aussies Are Shunning Condoms

Social norms


27 May 2019

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A study has found most young people are shunning condoms – and it’s not cause they aren’t aware of the risks.

UNSW’s National Debrief Survey has found that 75% of Australian young people aged 15 to 29 who had sex partners in the past 12 months had sex without condoms at least once in that time. Even more concerning, the more partners a person had had, the more likely it was they wouldn’t use condoms.

As for why young people aren’t using them, it’s simply the new normal. 

While over 90% said people SHOULD use condoms with a new partner, just one fifth of respondents said it was “common” for people to use condoms with a new partner.

Meanwhile, only 17% said they believed they could get an STI.

“Sexual intercourse without condoms is highly prevalent among young people,” lead author Dr Philippe Adam from UNSW’s Centre for Social Research in Health said.

“Contrary to what is often assumed, engaging in condomless sex is not related to a lack of knowledge about STIs. It is primarily due to social norms regarding the use of condoms that are only moderately supportive. In other words, not all young people think that their peers would expect them to use condoms.”

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