Gender Differences in Partner Influences and Barriers to Condom Use Among Heterosexual Adolescents Attending a Public Sexually Transmitted Infection Clinic in Singapore

Published:September 24, 2012DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.08.010

      Objective

      To compare gender differences in the factors associated with condom use at most recent voluntary intercourse among heterosexual adolescents attending a public clinic for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

      Study design

      Between 2008 and 2011, we conducted a cross-sectional survey on 964 never-married adolescents between 14 and 19 years of age who reported having engaged in voluntary intercourse for most recent sexual encounter and were attending the only public STI clinic in Singapore for screening or treatment of STIs. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire.

      Results

      The response rate to the questionnaire was 85.2%. In multivariate analysis, condom use at last intercourse for both genders was negatively associated with Malay race and peer connectedness and was positively associated with confidence in the ability to use a condom correctly. Being employed was positively associated with condom use for female respondents only. For male respondents only, condom use showed a positive association with living in better housing, older age at first intercourse, and engaging in sexual intercourse with commercial sex partners. Almost all (90%) commercial sex partners suggested condom use and provided condoms compared with 8.1% of non–sex worker partners. Condom use showed a negative association with inconvenience in its use among male respondents but not female respondents.

      Conclusion

      STI prevention programs for adolescents must promote condom use with nonpaying partners, address barriers to condom use, and develop condom application skills, taking into account gender differences. Future research should explore condom use within dating relationships.
      EHBM ( Expanded Health Belief Model), STI ( Sexually transmitted infection)
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