Last year the Center for Sexual Health and Promotion at Indiana University released a devastating chart about the use of condoms by age group. The stats, which I admit I’m not that surprised by, show that young teens ages 14 – 17 were the most likely age group to use condoms while having sex. Men were 79.1 percent more likely, and women were 56.1 percent more likely to practice safe sex.

But as the chart shows, as you teens became adults, the prevalence of condom usage became increasingly smaller. Men were 29.3 percent more likely to use condoms between the ages of 25 and 34, where as women were 23.8 percent.

Yikes.

Nearly a 50 percent drop in men and a 30 percent drop in women? It leads me to ask whose responsibility it is to really be carrying around protection. It’s a bit scary to learn that teenagers, who are least (well, for maybe not) sexually active are the smartest in terms of sexual behavior. It’s relatively clear that as we get older that good ole sex education that we learned in high school goes right out the window. Smh.

I admit, I think both sexes should carry around condoms, but how realistic is that? If I man I was dating was carrying around condoms would I think him extremely smart and forward thinking? Or would I shun him for seemingly only to be thinking of sex?

The same questions go for a woman. Men, if a girl you were seeing was carrying around condoms, would you think she was a breath of fresh air, or a whore?

It’s definitely a case where double standards seem like they may play a role.

But what do you think? Should you carry condoms or would you be surprised if someone of the opposite sex is carrying them?

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8 Comments

  1. Does the study ask whether older adults that do not use condoms use some other form of birth control? Does it also ask whether those non-condom using adults are in long-term, monogamous relationships? The sexual habits of teenagers should not be equated to that of older, more responsible adults, based purely on the use of one form of contraception.

  2. The chart depicted, absent any other information, does not give you enough data to draw this conclusion. You -might- be able to draw this conclusion if there were not other types of birth control out there, and if it was ALWAYS necessary to use a barrier contraceptive. It is quite likely that those in older age groups are either using different types of birth control, or actively trying to get pregnant, or don’t care about pregnancy and are with committed partners.

    The root question of who should provide protection is a valid one, but it does not help the discussion to use poor logic and incomplete data.

  3. Condoms protect not only against birth control, but STIs. I would say STIs are the more important of those two consequences that people should be mindful about regardless of the relationship type. This is true particularly in the black community where HIV infection rates among women are disproportionate to the larger population.

  4. Why is there is no conversation on the dangers of condoms. They are laced with toxic chemicals like spermicide yet no one brings that into the condom. We have men and women out of freaking control, never wanting to think before they phuck and the best thing we can say is use condoms. What are we promoting? Unabashed sexual intercourse?

  5. I think all the commenters above me made very valied points on the faultiness of the study. Many adults are actively trying to get pregnant or using other methods of birth control and in committed relationships. But, to answer the question in the post, I think it would be very shortsighted for a woman to look at a man who carried condoms as only want sex. First, we should already know they aonly want sex (I’m only half kidding here), but also it shows a sign of maturity and taking responsibility for his health. I think the same is true for women, unfortunately, I’ve heard men say they look at women who carry condoms as hos and have even been looked at as crazy myself. To which I say, I am not turning my health over to someone else and simply trusting them on their word, and if you can;t get with that, beat it!

    • @Tiffany: I completely agree with you and I want to add that when men try to shame women into not protecting themselves it’s an automatic red flag. It’s my job to protect myself which doesn’t mean I don’t trust my sexual partner.

  6. Condoms suck that’s why you should get married and have children

  7. If you are having sex, suck it up and start doing your part. Woman should be just as responsible carrying the condom and buying it as the man. Based on the STI rates, clearly relying on the guy just is not working. I recently wrote an article trying to make sense of who should carry the condom: http://blog.beforewedo.com/2013/04/carrying-your-own-condom-is-worse-than.html?showComment=1366826158315

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