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Survey on Women’s Condom Use After Substance Use

Alcohol and marijuana use can affect the likelihood that a young woman will use condoms, according to a recent study in the Journal of Sex Research.

American scientists surveyed 297 college-age women (mean age 18 years) about their use of condoms after drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana. Together, the women reported on 1,856 sexual encounters. They described the amount of alcohol or marijuana consumed and they types of relationships they had with their sexual partners.

In terms of alcohol, the researchers wrote that “women were no more or less likely to use condoms during events involving drinking or heavy episodic drinking than during those without drinking.” However, the number of drinks had an effect: women who had more drinks before sex were less likely to use condoms than those who had fewer drinks.

Marijuana use had “no main effect” on condom use, they noted. But women who had been dating their partner for three months or more were less likely to use condoms after using marijuana with that partner.

In a press release, lead author Jennifer Walsh, PhD, of Miriam Hospital in Rhode Island, explained the importance of partner type in this study.

“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.”

Print this article or view it as a PDF file here: Survey on Women’s Condom Use After Substance Use


Huffington Post

Vagianos, Alanna

“Most Women Use Condoms Even After Drinking, Suggests Study”

(December 5, 2013)

Journal of Sex Research

Walsh, Jennifer, et al.

“Do Alcohol and Marijuana Use Decrease the Probability of Condom Use for College Women?”

(Abstract. First published online: October 28, 2013)

The Miriam Hospital

“Miriam Hospital Study Examines Link in College Women’s Use of Substances and Condoms”

(Press release. November 14, 2013)