Are Guys More Likely to Use Condoms When They Feel Their Partner is Attractive

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Condoms are pretty much a necessity in a relationship—either you are trying to avoid a pregnancy that neither person is ready for or to prevent STIs. As important as they can be, according to a small study that has recently been conducted, there might be another reason why men choose not to wear condoms.

What is that reason, you ask? Men might be less likely to wear them if they find their partner attractive.

There was a group of researchers from the University of Southampton and the University of Bristol, who surveyed 51 straight men between 18 years old and 69 years old. In that study, the researchers showed the men photographs of 20 women and then asked them to rate how attractive they thought the women were. The men were asked to rate the women on a scale of attractiveness from 0 to 100. They then asked the men how likely they would sleep with each lady if they were single and had the opportunity. They also were asked if they’d use a condom in this pretend sexual encounter, how many men (1 to 100) would have unprotected sex with each woman, and what they felt were the chances of the given woman had an STI.

Although the study was small and it relied heavily on a survey, the final results were still surprising. The lead author of the study, Anastasia Eleftheriou suggested that men are more likely to have unprotected sex with any attractive woman, even if they feel that those very attractive women were more likely to have an STI. Of course, on the flip side of that coin, men said they would be more likely to strap up with a condom if they were to sleep with a woman who they didn’t find as attractive.

So, what could be the reason behind this backward way of thinking? Roger Ingham, the study’s co-author, suggests that there are two reasons at play here. The first being that men have been programmed to want to reproduce with women that they find attractive. The other being that young guys might think that by sleeping with beautiful women is a sign of status, and they are willing to make any risk necessary to get that higher status.

Of course, this study may not be the authority on why men may or may not use a condom, and it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. There were only 51 men that participated in said study, after all. The authors also suggested that the survey was taken with a female researcher present, which may have had an effect on the outcome.
Even still, Eleftheriou and Ingham want to use the data they’ve gathered to help create a more informative sexual education curriculum, which by the sounds of this study is in need of an overhaul.