Sexual Communication Research Paper Essay
The three articles discussed below include studies seeking to prove hypotheses regarding the use of condoms, as well as the disclosure of taboo topics in relationships. I then used the results from these studies to form my own hypothesis, as well as a method of testing it. The first article is written by Onacle King, and explores the idea of condom use and the differences between men and women in discouraging it. The goal of their study was to find out what percentages of men and women use condoms regularly, what percentages attempt to dissuade their partners from using condoms, and the lines most commonly used to do so.
The results of their survey showed that only 20 percent of subjects always used condoms, and that women were almost just as likely as men to dissuade condom use. The most commonly reported dissuasion line was “Sex doesn’t feel a good with a condom” (Onacle & King, 379-391, 2001). Holland and French conducted the next study. They asked a large and very diverse sample, the majority of which being in some form of a relationship, how often they used condoms during sex with their partner, and which of six given lines, some direct and some more indirect, they used more often to promote condom use.
Results found that those who used more than one of the given lines were more likely to successfully promote condom use, and using assertive lines was especially effective They also were able to support their hypotheses that women are more active in supporting condom use, and that Whites and African-Americans are more likely to use direct techniques of promoting condom use than Asians (Holland & French, 1-11, 2011). The final study, conducted by Anderson et al, was concerned with finding out what topics men and women in relationships considered taboo, and why they were thought to be taboo.
They surveyed a large pool of men and women and asked them those very two questions. The most common taboo responses were past relationships and sexual experiences, with the most common reasons for being considered taboo being keeping the past in the past, and fear of measuring up to previous competition. One particularly interesting result of this study was that men and women answered almost identically in giving their opinions of taboo topics and what makes them so (Anderson et al, 381-391, 2011).
After looking at these three readings, two of which centering on condom use, and one around sexually taboo topics in relationships; I think a good hypothesis would be one that draws from both ideas. That being said, if given the opportunity, I would like conduct a study that measures condom use among partners in a relationship as the relationship progresses through time. I am curious to see if, as partners become more comfortable with each other, they change their opinions on condom use.
Also, since this is a fairly awkward thing to talk about, and could be considered taboo, I would include a section in my study to give the subjects an opportunity to disclose what types of conversations, if any, led to a decreased or increased frequency of condom use in a relationship. Considering these objectives, my hypothesis would be that as relationships progress through time, couples use condoms less and less. I say this for two reasons.
The first draws from the Holland and French reading where it states that condom use promoted by the women is most effective when she is very assertive. As a relationship progresses, each partner opens up more and more to each other, so being completely firm on a topic such as condom use may become more difficult for a women to keep up (Holland & French, 1-11, 2011). My next point, drawn from the Anderson et al reading, is that men and women who talk about taboo topics are found to have more meaningful relationships.
Therefore, men and women seeking a more intimate relationship would be encouraged to break taboo and bring up a potentially uncomfortable topic such as reduced condom use (Anderson et al, 381-391, 2011). I think the best way to go about supporting my hypothesis would be to survey a large and diverse sample size of men and women in committed relationships of at least two years (a relatively arbitrary number, but one that certainly signifies a lengthy relationship).
This way I could speak to as many subjects as possible and try to hone in on the most frequent answers, as opposed to getting really deep answers from a limited sample size, which I believe would be less effective. The subjects would be presented with multiple blank lines on a sheet of paper, each line representing two a two-month period in their relationship in chronological order from their first two months to the present. The subjects would then estimate the percentage of each two-month period’s sexual encounters that involved a condom.
If my hypothesis holds true, as the two-month periods get closer and closer to the present, the percentage of sexual encounters featuring a condom would reduce. After this section, I would include and open ended question. It would ask those that did experience a decrease in condom frequency with respect to time what kinds of discussions they had with their partner that reduced their frequency, and how open their partner initially was to the idea.
I think the biggest issue to my study would be subjects incorrectly estimating percentages, but since the main concern in my study is tracking a general increase or decrease in condom-use-frequency; the exact numbers would not be a huge concern anyways. If executed properly and honestly, I think a study similar to this one would be very effective in finding not only the relationship between a couples frequency of condom use over time, but also the discussions and factors that lead to changes in this frequency.
1. Anderson, Mike, Adrianne Kunkel, and Michael R. Dennis. “‘‘Let’s (Not) Talk About That’’: Bridging the Past Sexual Experiences Taboo to Build Healthy Romantic Relationships. ” Journal of Sex Research (2011): 381-91. Web. 2. Holland, Katherine J. , and Sabine E. French. “Condom Negotiation Strategy Use and Effectiveness among College Students. ” Journal of Sex Research (2011): 1-11. Web. 3. Onacle, Renee M. , and Bruce M. King. “Comparison of Men’s and Women’s Attempts to Dissuade Sexual Partners From the Couple Using Condoms. ” Archives of Sexual Behavior (2001): 381-91. Web.