Condom Use and High-Risk Sexual Acts in Adult Films

A Comparison of Heterosexual and Homosexual Films

Published In: American Journal of Public Health, v. 99, Suppl. 1, Apr. 1, 2009, p S152-S156

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2009

by Corita R. Grudzen, Marc N. Elliott, Peter R. Kerndt, Mark A. Schuster, Robert H. Brook, Lillian Gelberg

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OBJECTIVES: The authors compared the prevalence of condom use during a variety of sexual acts portrayed in adult films produced for heterosexual and homosexual audiences to assess compliance with state Occupational Health and Safety Administration regulations. METHODS: The authors analyzed 50 heterosexual and 50 male homosexual films released between August 1, 2005, and July 31, 2006, randomly selected from the distributor of 85% of the heterosexual adult films released each year in the United States. RESULTS: Penile-vaginal intercourse was protected with condoms in 3% of heterosexual scenes. Penile-anal intercourse, common in both heterosexual (42%) and homosexual (80%) scenes, was much less likely to be protected with condoms in heterosexual than in homosexual scenes (10%vs 78%; P<.001).No penile-oral acts were protected with condoms in any of the selected films. CONCLUSIONS: Heterosexual films were much less likely than were homosexual films to portray condom use, raising concerns about transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, especially among performers in heterosexual adult films. In addition, the adult film industry, especially the heterosexual industry, is not adhering to state occupational safety regulations.

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