Background: Information is limited on how well adolescents use condoms and where they learn how.
Objective: The objective of this study was to determine how often incarcerated males used condoms incorrectly and where, how, and from whom they learned condom use.
Study: This study consisted of an interviewer-administered survey during intake physicals at a juvenile detention center. Results were based on self-report; condom use models were not used.
Results: During usual use among 141 males, errors included failure to secure the condom to the penis on withdrawal (37%), loss of erection before condom removal (18%), and failure to leave space at the tip (14%). Learning occurred at home (27%), school (23%), probation/detention facilities (14%), and community programs (3.4%). Subjects learned from educators/counselors (37%), family (27%), and friends (6.9%). Methods of learning included reading the package insert (45%), demonstrations (39%), explanations (33%), and media (19%).
Conclusions: These adolescents had relatively few condom errors. Common methods of learning correct condom use included observing a demonstration, reading the package insert, and hearing an explanation. The last 2 methods are easy to implement.