Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2010

Thesis Advisor(s)

Dr. Merrill Singer

Honors Major

Anthropology

Disciplines

Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Gender and Sexuality | Medicine and Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Women's Health | Women's Studies

Abstract

Minimal research has been conducted on the acceptability of the female condom among college populations despite its existence in the world market since 1992. The FC2, an improved version of FC1, has recently been released in the United States, thus prompting the need for further acceptability studies. Due to increasingly high rates of STDs among those aged 15-24, every method of protection against STDs/HIV and pregnancy must be utilized. This study involved a campus-wide survey which examined University of Connecticut (Uconn) main campus (Storrs) undergraduate students’ knowledge of the female condom, perceptions of and attitudes towards the female condom as implications for the potential acceptability of the female condom among undergraduate populations of other mid-sized, public universities in the United States. The results of the study indicate that many UConn students have some knowledge of the female condom but do not use it. The most cited barriers to acceptability were its lack of accessibility, the “yuck factor,” use of the male condom already, and the need for more demonstrations on how to use the female condom. These barriers are all surmountable. The results also suggest the need for promotion of the female condom among this population as an alternative, not a replacement, to the male condom. This study provided hope for understanding how to best market the female condom among sexually active college undergraduate populations of similar demographical makeup as the University of Connecticut.