Unprotected Sex - Would You Do it?
Sometimes, it is difficult to believe how easily people fall for ‘honey traps’ while you think that they should just know better. Be that as it may, research into our perceptions of the attractiveness of the people around us and its impact on our own behavior seems to suggest that we all tend to make unwise decisions like that.
In a paper published in June 2016, researchers revealed some interesting discoveries about the thought processes that occur when we see a person we find attractive. Adult males were shown photographs of women and asked to rate them by attractiveness, the likelihood that the woman might have a sexually-transmitted infection (STI), and their willingness to have protected or unprotected sex with the woman.
Unsurprisingly, the level of perceived attractiveness was directly proportional to the test group's desire to have sex with the women. It was also found that the more unattractive the men found a woman to be, the more likely they stated they were to use a condom with her.
The next part of the results was rather more unusual. The group's responses showed that even though they suspected the women they found more attractive were also likely to have an STI and to have had many sexual partners in the past, they were still more likely to have unprotected sex with her. Sadly, it seems that the sight of an attractive woman causes normal men to throw caution to the wind.
An individual's sense of worth also had an impact on his appraisal of the sexual dynamics between himself and an attractive partner - the higher the men rated themselves, the more likely they were to assume that an attractive woman would have unprotected sex with them.
However, this mentality is not restricted to men alone. An earlier study discovered parallels with how women perceived attractiveness and the possibility of STIs. The women in that study confessed that they were more likely to have unprotected sex with men they considered more attractive. Moreover, this was after they were told that less attractive men were also less likely to have an STI.
The study on male attitudes was conducted with a primarily white test group. Unconnected research conducted in 2011 in San Francisco revealed that race may play a large role in the decision to have unprotected sex. That study showed that, compared to the Caucasians, Spanish-speaking Latinos were 52% more likely to engage in unprotected sex while African-Americans were 75% more likely to do so.
It seems that most of us have a more cavalier attitude than would be prudent as to unprotected sex with an attractive partner. Do your own attitudes align with what the research showed?