A recent study in the Journal Of Sex Research found a link between alcohol consumption and reduced use of condoms. Duh. We didn’t need a scientific study to tell us that. But more interestingly, the study found that college women who smoke marijuana are less likely to use condoms with established sexual partners. Wait, what?
To be specific, they found that “when a woman has been dating a romantic partner for three months or more, marijuana use may increase the risk of unprotected sex.” The researchers didn’t hypothesize about this link between smoking pot and not using condoms, so we’re going to! Here are two guesses from an ex-pothead as to why this finding turned up in a study of “1,856 sexual events reported by 297 first-year college women.”
First, maybe the stoners are actually in relationships with these sexual partners, and made the mutual decision to forgo condoms. Yes, I’m making a massive generalization here, but smoking weed in your dorm room and watching nature documentaries with that cute dude from down the hall is more likely to turn into a long-term thing than getting blackout drunk at the bar that doesn’t ID and making out with some stranger. Shared drug use make it really easy to slide into a relationship: first you’re texting them whenever you pick up, next thing you know you’re spending all your time together. And odds are the ladies going to four frat parties every weekend aren’t trying to nab a boyfriend. They’re trying to drink jungle juice with lacrosse players. So maybe the pot smoking girls in this study are actually in relationships, got tested, and chucked the condoms.
Secondly, maybe the stoners just kind of care less. Pot does a great job of numbing you from fear and worry, as my anxious teenage self would happily tell you between bong rips. If you’ve been sleeping with someone for three months and you’re kind of stoned, you might be less likely to insist on that condom than if you’re kind of drunk. Kind of drunk, you’re going to yell, “What do you MEAN you don’t have any condoms?!” and then kick that dude out of bed to make him steal a condom from his roommate. Kind of stoned, that all seems like a lot of effort and whatever, let’s just go for it. Wait, look at the iTunes visualizer. Whoa. Wait, what were we doing? Oh yeah, sex!
Are you getting a little lazy with your condom use? Perhaps because you are smoking so much pot that when you go to buy condoms you get distracted and walk out of CVS with 4 different kinds of potato chips and no prophylactics? Here’s a terrifying statistic for your next snack/condom run: “Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 account for 50 percent of all new HIV infections.” Wrap it up, everyone!
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