Arousal Loss Associated with Condoms and Risk of Pregnancy: Implications for Women's and Men's Sexual Health

Jenny Higgins, Princeton University
Amanda Tanner, Indiana University
Erick Janssen, Indiana University

Few studies have examined arousal loss associated with either condoms or the risk of unintended pregnancy, let alone their associations with sexual risk practices. Internet survey data (2,399 men; 3,210 women) captured arousal profiles related to condoms and unintended pregnancy. Chi square tests and regression analyses gauged associations between arousal profiles, unprotected sex in the last year, and lifetime experience of unintended pregnancy. Many respondents reported arousal loss related to both condom use (35%) and risk of unintended pregnancy (45%). As expected, condom-associated arousal loss was positively associated with unprotected sex, and pregnancy-associated arousal loss was negatively associated with unintended pregnancy. Surprisingly, condom arousal loss was more strongly associated with unprotected sex among women, whereas pregnancy arousal loss was more protective against unintended pregnancy among men. Given arousal profiles' potential contributions to sexual risk-taking, they should be integrated into sexual health behavioral models, research and programming.

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Presented in Session 6: Sexuality and STIs