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)

Abstract

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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