According to psychologists Christina Lee and Glynn Owens, double standards still persist when it comes to sex. The view that men are less able to control their sexuality than women continues to exist, and their promiscuity still seems to win respect from other men. This means that men are encouraged to take chances that can increase their risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and of contributing to the high numbers of unplanned pregnancies.
With the emergence of HIV and AIDS, men have had to take a more active role in STD prevention. Despite this, nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned, suggesting that condom use should be a higher priority for men. Condoms are one of the most effective methods of contraception, and can also prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms are the third most popular method of contraception. 5.4 million men use the condom as their sole method to prevent pregnancy. 3.6 million sexual partners used the condom with other methods.
However, the condom is still viewed in a number of negative ways. There's the old chestnut about condoms messing up personal pleasure, 'sex with gloves on'. Sure, condoms can reduce sensitivity - but on the other hand, they can increase staying power and, if your partner is relaxed because you're using protection, condoms might increase pleasure.
Research shows that young unmarried men are more reluctant than women to suggest the use of condoms. For men, the reluctance has to do with the idea of reduced sexual pleasure but also the tendency to view condoms primarily as contraception rather than a means of infection control. Many young men still see contraception as a female responsibility and are more embarrassed by their use.
These days, getting hold of condoms is easy but in the heat of the moment, men are often more reluctant to put the brakes on and apply a condom or even suggest using one. Despite wanting sex, a lot of men are shy about putting condoms on in front of a sex partner.
The Safe Sex Message
Well, it's pretty straight forward. Use a condom properly and you radically reduce the risks of unplanned pregnancy, contracting a sexual disease, or passing one on to others.
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