A new study, titled Self-reported penis size and experiences with condoms among gay and bisexual men, has found that the comfort and fit of condoms among larger and smaller endowed gay and bi men may play a role in their regular use.
In a survey of nearly 500 men in the city of New York by Hunter College’s Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), researchers attempted to address the issue of penis size and condom failure rates.
According to the results, almost half of those surveyed reported condom slippage during sex and almost a third reported condom breakage in the previous three months.
The survey found that only less than forty percent of those surveyed said it was “easy” to find a condom that fit them.
The results suggest that some men may have unprotected sex simply because they cannot find proper fitting condoms.
“These findings indicate that the fit of a condom matters,” said Dr. Christian Grov, the study’s lead author. “A client at an HIV service agency might see a bowl filled with ‘standard’ condoms and have to ask a provider if they have other sizes available. That extra step could make the difference between someone leaving with a condom—the right condom—or going home empty handed.”
He noted that while condom manufacturers have been offering different sizes in recent years, “Unfortunately, the default condom freely distributed by many health care providers is still a standard size.”
Dr. Jeffrey Parsons, CHEST’s director, says, “This type of public health research is very important, no matter how politically volatile. Studies like this allow us to better understand sexual health and risk so that we can address effectively the health needs of gay and bisexual men.”
The results of the study will be published in the February 2013 issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior.