An Examination of Young Women's Use of Condoms in Casual Sex Situations: Implications for the Sexuality Education Curriculum.
New Zealand has high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancy when compared to other comparable countries. The purpose of this research was to gain a better understanding of how sexuality education in schools impacts young people’s behaviour and to elicit their ideas for improving the curriculum. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews with eleven women aged 18-25. The research utilised Heideggerian phenomenology as a framework as this approach allows the researcher and participants to co-construct a shared understanding of the event/s. The results outline a complex picture of young people’s lives and their reasons for having both protected and unprotected casual sex. Three major themes were identified as increasing the likelihood of having casual sex: alcohol, biological factors and socio-cultural factors. However, none of these factors alone explain risky sexual behaviour. Rather, the factors interact within and between each other to increase or decrease the likelihood of someone having casual sex. This added complexity should be taken into account when consideration is being given to the way sexuality education in schools is taught. The results from this study add to the growing body of evidence that sexuality education in high schools need to change if it hopes to reduce the rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.