Interestingly, the findings suggest that women didn't believe that the more unattractive a man was, the more likely he was to have an STI. Rather, the "more attractive a participant judged herself to be, the more she believed that, overall, men are likely to have a STI."
For the investigation, scientists recruited 480 participants between the ages of 18 and 69. They made them complete a questionnaire that involved four sections:
- Participants’ demographic information and judgement of their own attractiveness,
- Information regarding the participant’s own sexual experience and safer sex practices,
- Five judgements of each of twenty men using a single full frontal facial photograph.
- The Condom Use Resistance Scale.
Most importantly, the team of authors investigated how willing and unwilling women were to use a condom. They posed the question: “since the age of 14, how many times have you successfully avoided using a condom with a man who wanted to use one by.”
They then offered 30 different answers which correlated to different levels of condom use resistance.
Answers included Seduction (e.g., ‘‘Getting him so sexually excited that he agreed to have sex without a condom”or Deception (e.g., ‘‘Pretending that you had been tested and did not have any STDs”). Each answer was placed on The Condom Use Resistance Tactics Scale, ranked out of 100.
Results found that at least half used at least one tactic to have sex without protection. The four most common answers included:
- “Getting him really aroused and then starting to have sex without a condom” (27 per cent),
- “Getting him so sexually excited that he agreed to have sex without a condom” (16 per cent),
- “Reassuring him that you were clean (i.e., did not have any STIs) so that he would have sex without a condom” (16 per cent)
- “Telling him you didn’t want to use a condom because sex doesn’t feel as good with one on” (15 per cent).
"The results of the current study demonstrated a strong association between perceived attractiveness (of a potential partner and of self) and condom use intentions in women who have sex with men. Participants were more willing to have sex with more attractive men, but were less inclined to use condoms when they do so," the study authors wrote.
"These findings agree with those of a previous study on the influence of attractiveness on condom use intentions in a heterosexual male population. The findings are also in agreement with previous work that has highlighted that individuals use unimportant or irrelevant factors to judge partners’ relative safety and that different contextual factors, like relationship motivation and partner familiarity can be used to justify sexual risk taking."