Examining college women's hookup behaviors and condom negotiation strategies used with their online and offline partners

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University of Alabama Libraries

Approximately 60-80% of college students report engaging in a hookup at some point during their college career. College students find hookup partners through traditional meeting contexts, but dating apps and social media have become a new resource to identify potential sexual partners. Because males are the ones who physically wear condoms, safer sex efforts may require the female to possess condom negotiation skills to persuade her male partners to use a condom. Previous research has not investigated the use of condom negotiation strategies with partners identified online or offline. The primary purpose of this study was to identify differences between the mode in which college women seek male hookup partners (online, offline, and both online and offline) and the condom negotiation strategies used with these partners. A secondary purpose of the study was to utilize the constructs of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to predict and identify differences in condom negotiation intention with male hookup partners met online, offline, and both online and offline. The present study utilized a quantitative, cross-sectional design paper and pen survey administered through a convenience sample of 296 undergraduate women enrolled in courses in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at The University of Alabama. Overall, 155 (52.4%) reported engaging in hookups over the previous six months. No significant differences were found between where college women identified their hookup partners and their behavioral intention to negotiate condom use. Nonverbal indirect condom negotiation strategies (F (2, 151, 3.55. p < 0.05) were significant among those who found partners offline (M = 13.38, sd = 4.59, p = 0.048). Perceived behavioral control (p = 0.043) had a significant interaction with behavioral intention when examining the TPB constructs by where college women identified their hookup partners. After adding past condom use with hookup partners to the same model, subjective norms (p = 0.047) was a significant predictor of behavioral intention. Based on the findings of this study, public health educators should continue to explore condom negotiation utilizing the TPB and develop interventions to educate college women how to negotiate condom use with their hookup partners.

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Higher education