Life history theory suggests that in risky and uncertain environments it can be adaptive to be risk-prone. Failing to use a condom to prevent sexually transmitted infections and/or unwanted pregnancy is one form of risky activity. On the assumption that risky or uncertain environments are experienced subjectively as psychosocial stress we explored the relationship between early psychosocial stress and condom use at first sex in heterosexually active women and men. Early psychosocial stress was higher in men who did not use a condom than those that did, suggesting that the potential benefits of engaging in such a risky behaviour outweigh the long-term benefits of safe-sex. Unlike in men, however, condom use was unrelated to early psychosocial stress in women, perhaps because they have less control over condom use than men.
|Journal||Journal of Social, Evolutionary & Cultural Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|