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Adult, Condoms, Female, Holidays, Humans, Ireland, Male, Motivation, Pregnancy, Risk-Taking, Safe Sex, Sexual Behavior, Young Adult


The study was funded by the Health Research Board (HRB). Grant number: RP/2005/8


The definitive version is available on the CSIRO Publishing web site at,


BACKGROUND: Several studies have examined condom use during 'holiday' sex but have not considered condom errors in this context. This study aims to identify factors associated with late application of condoms during participants' most recent vaginal intercourse at home and away from home (holidays or short breaks).

METHOD: Participants aged 19-30 years from a national Irish survey were recontacted (n=388; 51% men; mean age: 23.9 years). Telephone interviews regarding participants' most recent sex at home (n=362) and away from home (n=178) were conducted.

RESULTS: A higher proportion reported condom use away from home (79% v. 62%), with a lower prevalence of late application (14% v. 24%). Pregnancy prevention as the primary motive for condom use increased the odds of late application at home (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 4.56, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.10-9.90) and away (AOR: 3.97, 95% CI: 1.36-11.59). A weak desire to use a condom also increased the likelihood of late application at home (AOR: 2.40, 95% CI: 1.03-5.62) and away (AOR: 11.18, 95% CI: 2.84-43.98). Subgroup analysis of those reporting both sexual events suggests that young adults take greater sexual risks with casual partners at home compared to away.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that young adults take greater sexual risks at home than when away. Regardless of location, young adults are most likely to report late application when they have a weak desire to use a condom and when they use condoms primarily to prevent pregnancy.


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Cousins G, Layte R, Ingham R, McGee H. Sexual risk-taking at home and on holidays: the importance of context for the late application of condoms. Sexual Health. 2013;10(5):414-8.

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