Young Women and Condom Use

Young Women and Condom Use

Young women are generally confident and well educated about good sexual behaviors … but, it doesn’t always lead to sound decision making. In a new survey from ASHA (the American Sexual Health Association), findings show we need to empower women to always use and carry condoms, especially when planning to consume alcohol.

Key Findings

  • All women were relatively satisfied with most aspects of their sexual lives
  • 77% are satisfied in their level of self-confidence when it comes to sex and in their romantic life
  • The vast majority believe they do make good decisions about their sex life
  • 93% agree that they feel confident in their ability to make good decisions about their sex life, of which 65% strongly agree
  • Yet, only 33% state they are likely to bring a condom and 34% another form of birth control when making preparations for a night out
  • Only 16% of young women are very likely to bring a condom with them on a night out
  • Most women say they prepare ahead when planning to drink. However, they still engage in risky sexual behavior when choosing to have sex under the influence.
  • 90% of women agree that their girlfriends look out for each other when drinking
  • 63% of women agree that they are more likely to initiate sex if they have been drinking
  • Yet, 40% of women agree that they are more likely to have sex without a condom if they have been drinking
  • When having sex under the influence, only 15% say they use condoms all of the time
  • Ultimately, while most say that they feel comfortable purchasing condoms, their purchase history is low.
  • 78% feel comfortable carrying a condom and 72% feel comfortable purchasing/obtaining condoms on their own, but on average, women have purchased or obtained condoms only twice in the past 12 months

While most say they are comfortable purchasing condoms with a partner, social stigma still exists at the purchase phase and women are significantly less likely to purchase on their own

  • 84% feel comfortable purchasing/obtaining condoms together with a partner and 77% feel comfortable with a friend
  • Though, over 60% of women cited the following as reasons for discomfort in purchasing/obtaining condoms on their own:
  • I worry that someone I know will see me (67%)
  • I worry about what the store clerk will think (64%)
  • I worry about what other customers in the store will think of me (64%)
  • Only half of women (53%) feel very comfortable purchasing and obtaining condoms on their own

Condoms are most believed to protect against pregnancy and use is attributed to prevention rather than preparedness and empowerment

  • Most women do not carry condoms, assuming guys will have them. But some women still worry about the social stigma tied to buying and carrying condoms.
  • Only 18% of women in a relationship and 36% not in a relationship stated they use condoms all the time
  • 2 out of 3 women (66%) agree that they assume most guys carry condoms
  • Approximately 1 out of 5 agreed with the following statements:
  • Worry that a guy would be offended if I asked him to use a condom (21%)
  • Don’t feel like I need to use condoms with guys I meet (18%)
  • Worry that a guy would not want to have sex with me if I asked him to use a condom (19%)
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