A link between alcohol consumption and reduced condom use among college women has been identified by a new study from researchers at The Miriam Hospital. This study also revealed that women who smoke marijuana with established romantic partners may use condoms less often.
Jennifer Walsh, PhD, of the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital is the lead author of a study funded by a grant from the National Institutes of on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Walsh and fellow researchers were keen to find out if college women were less likely to use condoms if they consumed alcohol or smoked marijuana before engaging in sexual intercourse. “Our study provides new information about condom use and substance use with specific subtypes of sexual partners,” she said. “We found that both substance use and condom use varied based on specific partner type. Not only were alcohol use and condom use both less likely with romantic than with casual partners, but specific subtypes of romantic partners (new versus established) and casual partners (ex-boyfriends, friends, acquaintances, and strangers) differed from one another.”
Walsh concludes, “The results of our study suggest possible areas for intervention with young women. Efforts to reduce alcohol-involved sexual risk behavior might emphasize the dose-response relationship of drinks to condom use once one decides to drink or aim to reduce alcohol-sexual risk expectancies. Differences between types of sexual partners suggest the value of detailed assessments of partner types, and future research should consider categorizing sexual partners in a similar manner.”
The study was recently published online in the Journal of Sex Research.a