Attitudes Toward Condoms as AIDS Prophylaxis in Homosexual Men: Dimensions and Measurement

Michael W. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Increases in condom use among homosexually active men are crucial to containing the spread of AIDS. The present study examined the components of attitudes and beliefs toward condom use in homosexual and bisexual men using a modified version of Brown's Attitude toward condoms scale. Factor analysis revealed five clear dimensions: viewing condoms as unreliable and unerotic; as protection from infection; as unavailable when needed; as interrupting sex; and viewing condoms as a responsibility and being comfortable with condom use. Five subscales constructed from these dimensions differentiated significantly between homosexual men who used condoms frequently and infrequently or never. Four of the subscales (excepting the Protection from Infection subscale) differentiated frequency of oral condom use; only the Responsibility and Comfort with Condom Use subscale differentiated frequency of anal condom use. The Homosexual Attitudes toward Condom Use scale demonstrates that (1) dimensions of beliefs and attitudes toward condom use in homosexually active men differ substantially from those in heterosexual individuals; (2) a reliable and valid scale for measuring such attitudes now exists; (3) factors influencing condom use in this population differ for oral and anal intercourse; (4) this scale enables further research on determinants of condom use, and effects of modifying attitudes toward condom use, in homosexually active men to be carried out.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-299
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology & Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1988


  • AIDS
  • Condoms
  • attitudes
  • homosexual men


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