Background: Condom use during sexual activity reduces risk of unintended births and STDs when used correctly and consistently. Condom use is imperative for sexually active high school students due to adolescents being at high risk for acquiring STDs. Experiences such as bullying and violence can cause submissiveness and lack of self-esteem, contributing to inconsistent condom use in adolescents.
Methods: Data were obtained from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2011). SAS software was used to evaluate self-reported student responses (N=15,425) to determine associations between condom use and gender, race, grade, abuse from partner, bullying on school property, and electronic bullying. Logistic regression was used to predict factors that increased condom use.
Results: Approximately 61% of the sample reported condom use during their last sexual encounter. Ninth and tenth graders were 37% more likely to use condoms than upperclassmen (OR-1.37; CI: 1.14-1.65). Blacks were 28% more likely to use condoms than 'other races' (OR-1.28; CI: 1.07-1.53), however, whites were not significantly more likely to use condoms compared to 'other races'. Students who did not experience dating violence were 56% more likely to use condoms than students who had (OR-1.56; CI: 1.30-1.86). Students who were not bullied at school were 13% more likely to use condoms than students who have been bullied on school property (OR-1.13; CI: 0.93-1.38). Students who were not electronically bullied were 28% more likely to use condoms than students who were electronically bullied (OR-1.28; CI: 1.06-1.55).
Conclusions: The current research illustrates that students exposed to dating violence and bullying are less likely to engage in condom use, meaning efforts to prevent and reduce violence with these students should expand. Research efforts should target the development of anti-violence programs to decrease bullying and partner violence significantly, and potentially increase condom use in this target population.