It would probably not come as a surprise to learn that men might be a little more befuddled around women they find attractive. But a new study says that the hotter a women is, the less likely it is that a guy will wear a condom during intercourse.
According to lead study author Anastasia Eleftheriou, of the University of Southampton: “Men are more willing to have condomless sex with attractive women even though they might believe those women are more likely [to have an STI].”
While the first part is somewhat innocuous, that latter statement is somewhat jarring. So why would men more commonly have sex without a condom—regardless of how attractive the woman is—if he believes she is more likely to have an STD?
Study co-author Roger Ingham suggests that this choice is rooted in a base, male instinct to reproduce with good-looking partners; and this makes them more willing to take more risks in order to do so.
He goes on to say, “Men want to reproduce with women they find to be more attractive… and so are willing to take more risk to acquire this status.’
The study aimed to better understand the relationship between perceived attractiveness, sexual health status and intended condom use among heterosexual men.”
In the report, the study concludes: “The more attractive a woman was judged to be on average, the more likely participants would be willing to have sex with her and the less likely they were to intend to use a condom during sex.”
In a more base way, the scientists explain the study’s significance: “Male perceptions of attractiveness influence their condom use intentions; such risk biases could profitably be discussed during sex education sessions and in condom use promotion interventions.”
Of course, it could be argued that this research is more hearsay than study. The University of Southampton and University of Bristol simply quizzed 51 English-speaking heterosexual men aged between 18 and 69 years. In addition, the researchers emphasize that “the survey was taken in the presence of a female researcher, which previous studies have shown to affect male responses.”
So while there may be some bias, it does seem that there is also, at least, some truth. Of course, the only way to know for sure would be to conduct a more active and broad study, as with most true experiments.