Exposing oneself and one's partner to sexual risk-taking as perceived by young Swedish men who requested a Chlamydia test

Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2011 Apr;16(2):100-7. doi: 10.3109/13625187.2010.549253. Epub 2011 Jan 31.


Objectives: To explore young men's perceptions of (i) the risk for themselves and their partners in connection with unprotected intercourse, and (ii) the main barriers to practising safe sex.

Methods: Qualitative latent content analysis of interviews involving 22 Swedish males aged 16-20, who requested a Chlamydia test.

Results: The main categories identified were: (1) Low perceived threat regarding sexual risk-taking - personal consequences in focus. Threats could be both immediate and distant with varying preventative strategies. The young men worried more about their personal consequences than about the consequences for their partner. They were confident that an unintended pregnancy would be terminated, leading to decreased motivation for sharing pregnancy-preventing practices with their partner. (2) Perceived barriers to practising safe sex. Main barriers to condom use were interference with spontaneity, pleasure reduction, fear of loosing one's erection, and embarrassment or distrust. Other obstacles were the girl's use of hormonal contraception, and difficulties in communicating about safe sex.

Conclusion: The young men did not seem to worry about risks when having unprotected sex. To protect men's - and women's - sexual and reproductive health, efforts are needed to increase the former's contraceptive responsibilities and awareness of consequences related to unprotected sex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Chlamydia / isolation & purification
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology*
  • Chlamydia Infections / psychology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Unsafe Sex / psychology
  • Unsafe Sex / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult