Desire to father a child and condom use: a study of young black men at risk of sexually transmitted infections

Richard A. Crosby, Cynthia A. Graham, Robin R. Milhausen, Stephanie A. Sanders, William L. Yarber, Laura F. Salazar, Ivy Terrell, Ryan Pasternak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


To determine whether men’s reported desire to father a child or their perception that someone wanted to have their child was associated with elevated rates of unprotected vaginal sex, we studied a sample of young Black men at high risk of sexually transmitted infection acquisition. Data were collected in clinics treating sexually transmitted infections in three southern U.S. cities. Men 15–23 years of age who identified as Black/African American and reported recent (past two months) penile–vaginal sex were eligible (N = 578). Logistic regression was used to examine whether desire to conceive a child (self and perception of partners’ desire) predicted condom use, adjusting for age and whether they had previously impregnated someone. Their own level of desire to conceive a child was not significantly associated with unprotected vaginal sex or the proportion of times a condom was used. However, those who perceived higher level of someone wanting to conceive their child were 1.73 times more likely to report unprotected vaginal sex (P =.006) and 1.62 times more likely to report a lower proportion of times condoms were used (P =.019). Young Black men attending sexually transmitted infection clinics in the USA may forego condom use based on a perceived desire of their partners to become pregnant, putting themselves at risk for sexually transmitted infection acquisition and unplanned pregnancy. Findings provide initial support for the relevance of the idea that perceptions of women partners’ desire to conceive may be a critical determinant of condomless sex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-944
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number13
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, The Author(s) 2015.


  • Condoms
  • pregnancy desire
  • sexual behaviour
  • sexually transmitted infections
  • young Black men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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