Protection or Contraception: Dealing with the Twofold Function of Condom Use

Julia Cordero, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

The twofold function of condom use –contraception and STD protection- should be taken into account when understanding attitudes towards its use. The emphasis in the interpretation of condom use as a protective practice conflicts with norms of fidelity and trust that regulate marriage. The alternative interpretation of condom use as a contraceptive method may be less problematic. We hypothesize that the social consensus on understanding condom use as an HIV-preventive practice does not induce to positive attitudes towards this practice within marriage, while the social acceptance of modern contraception may help indeed. Our empirical analysis is based on a fixed-effect panel analysis, using data from the Malawi and Kenya Diffusion and Ideational Change Projects. We measure the social support for each function of condom use with the proportion of social network partners that have a positive attitude or behavior towards them, according to the respondent. The results support our hypothesis.

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Presented in Poster Session 3