Data on adolescents' views regarding the female condom are limited. We conducted seven single-gender focus groups with 47 New York City boys and girls aged 15-20 years (72% African American; 43% ever on public assistance; 72% sexually active; 25% had either been pregnant or fathered a pregnancy). Conceptual mapping was performed by participants to reveal the characteristics of protective methods deemed important to them. During analysis we specifically evaluated how the female condom was mapped. Girls consistently organized methods by, and thus were concerned about, contraceptive effectiveness, side effects, and availability (over the counter vs. provider controlled). Participants tended to classify the female condom with the male condom rather than as "female controlled." Maps varied among boys but contraceptive effectiveness was an important theme. Boys, but not girls, consistently and variously articulated an awareness of sexual pleasurewhen discussing this topic. Emphasizing the female condom's contraceptive effectiveness, lack of side effects, and availabilitymay be important when counseling adolescents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases