Why Are Condoms Disliked by So Many Men?

The National Institutes of Health spent nearly 500K on a condom study.

ByABC News
June 20, 2009, 3:13 PM

June 20, 2009 — -- The federal government has spent nearly half a million dollars to fund a study to find out why some men would prefer not to wear condoms during sex.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a $423,500 grant to researchers at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction.

The Bloomington, Ind., based research team will use the funding to study "barriers to correct condom use," according to a release from the institute.

"This project aims to advance our understanding of, among other factors, the role of cognitive and affective processes and condom application skills in explaining problems with condom use in young, heterosexual adult men," reads an excerpt of the study, which will be funded through May 2011.

But critics aren't so sure that this is the way the government should be spending taxpayer dollars.

One of those people is Jazz Shaw, the assistant editor for the news blog Themoderatevoice.com, who says that if the researchers really wanted to know why guys don't like wearing condoms, they should have just asked the average guy.

"Government at all levels leaves itself open to ridicule by not thinking these things through," Shaw said in an e-mail to ABCNews.com. "Men don't enjoy wearing condoms and we already know this."

"If what the NIH actually plans to study is condom failure rates or design deficiencies leading to difficulty in using the product, they should name the study appropriately and focus on those areas," Shaw said.

Repeated calls and messages to the NIH left by ABCNews.com were not immediately returned, but according to its Web site, it provides more than $30 billion for research every year, making the funding for this study a mere pittance in comparison to the larger picture.

The two leaders of the study, scientists Erick Janssen and Stephanie Sanders, also did not respond to requests for comment.

Asked to elaborate on why, exactly, men often put up a fight when they're asked to wear a condom, Shaw said the feeling experienced during intercourse is altered -- and not for the better -- by the condom.

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