Researchers from Yale University find that for young adults, sticking to traditional gender roles makes them less comfortable and therefore possibly less safe in the bedroom.
Researchers recruited 357 women and 126 men ages 18 to 29, all heterosexual and sexually active.
Study head Lisa Rosenthal and her team had subjects respond to survey questions on their sexual confidence and sexual assertiveness in a private cubicle, where there was a bowl of female condoms with a sign that read: “Protect yourself and your partner. Please take some! Free Female Condoms.”
Findings showed that the more the subjects endorsed traditional power dynamics, the less likely they were to both report sexual confidence in the survey and take the free condoms, the New York Daily News reported.
“If men believe that men should dominate sexually, this may prevent them from feeling open or comfortable discussing sexual behavior and protection with their partners or asking questions about things they may not know,” which could dampen sexual confidence, the researchers wrote.
“For both women and men, the belief that men should dominate sexually could reduce interest in female condoms, because female condoms are meant to be a woman-centered source of protection and may be seen as violating the norm or belief that men should be in control of sexual situations,” the researchers explained.
Female subjects in general were less likely than the men to believe that men should be more dominate in sexual situations.
The study is published in the online journal Sex Roles.
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