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Unwanted Unprotected Sex: Condom Coercion by Male Partners and Self-silencing of Condom Negotiation Among Adolescent Girls

Teitelman, Anne M. PhD, CRNP, FAANP; Tennille, Julie MSW, LSW; Bohinski, Julia M. MS, BSN; Jemmott, Loretta S. PhD, RN, FAAN; Jemmott, John B. III PhD

doi: 10.1097/ANS.0b013e31822723a3
Original Articles

This exploratory study used the theory of reasoned action and the theory of gender and power to guide elicitation of partner-related impediments to condom use among 64 adolescent girls living in poor urban areas with high rates of HIV and partner abuse. About 53% indicated that they had experienced unwanted, unprotected vaginal sex and 25% indicated that they were unable to discuss condom use with a partner. Novel qualitative findings related to condom coercion, condom sabotage, and self-silencing of condom negotiation are discussed in the context of connecting partner abuse to interpersonal control over condom use. Implications for intervention design are discussed.

School of Nursing (Drs Teitelman and L.S. Jemmott, and Ms Bohinski) School of Social Policy and Practice (Ms Tennille), and School of Medicine and Annenberg School for Communication (Dr J.B. Jemmott III), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Correspondence: Anne M. Teitelman, PhD, CRNP, FAANP, Center for Health Equities Research, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Fagin Hall, 2L (room 244), 418 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (

This research was supported by NIMH grant 1K01MH080649-01A1 and University of Pennsylvania: Center for AIDS Research and Institute for Urban Research. The authors thank late Dr Martin Fishbein for suggestions about the wording of the open-ended questions on the brief survey; Dr Patricia Benner, Dr Pat D'Antonio, and Annet Davis-Vogel for reading and commenting on drafts of the article; Lynette Gueits for her role in advising on the development of the focus group guide; the Talking about Relationships Project research team members for logistical support during focus groups and for insightful discussions during the coding process; and the research study participants for the time and thoughtful comments.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.