Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 5 Issue 2 (May 1995), Pages fmi-fmi, 75-146

‘I wouldn't have married the guy if i'd have to do that’: Heterosexual adults' constructions of condom use and their implications for sexual practice (pages 75-87)


The study reported in this paper uses discourse analysis to better understand heterosexual adults' accounts of condom use. It is suggested that discursive constructions of what it means to use a condom in a relationship may constrain or facilitate particular behaviours within particular contexts. Analysis of interview transcripts revealed that respondents framed their accounts of condom use almost exclusively within a marital discourse. This discourse constructs marriage as a condition incompatible with condom use and positions married respondents in such a way that they feel unable to request safer sex from their spouse. The concept of ‘trust’ was identified as a key component of the discourse. Respondents' constructions of ‘trust’ are fundamentally different from those found in AIDS education materials. The paper discusses the implications of these findings for AIDS education.

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