Canadians aged 40-59 are less likely to use condoms than younger generations, according to a new study by the University of Guelph.
Sixty-five per cent of male respondents in this age group said they had not used a condom the last time they had sex, and that number increased to 72 per cent among women.
Respondents include married, divorced, single or widowed people.
According to study co-author Robin Milhausen, the reasons for a decrease in condom use are many, and most are purely logical.
Older men are afraid of erectile dysfunction and are experiencing anxiety about sexual performance, says Milhausen. Many of them fear that a condom will exacerbate existing problems, she adds.
However, marital status also plays a major role.
Canadians who return unmarried after a marriage or long relationship may be reluctant to use condoms or have conversations about safe sex with prospective partners, Milhausen said.
Interestingly, the risk is even greater for those who pursue serious relationships.
“The more you are engaged, the less likely you are to use a condom, but love and confidence do not protect you from chlamydia,” says the researcher.
According to Milhausen, many studies other than her own indicate that rates of sexually transmitted infections are increasing in older people, which justifies the need for greater vigilance.
The research, published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality , was conducted online with 2,400 adults.
The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association says, however, that online surveys can not be given a margin of error, since the samples are not randomly selected.