Gender power imbalance and differential psychosocial correlates of intended condom use among male and female adolescents from Venda, South Africa

Authors


Correspondence should be addressed to Henk Boer, Department of Communication Studies, Institute for Behavioural Research, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands (e-mail: h.boer@utwente.nl) or M. Tshilidzi Mashamba, Department of Psychology, University of Venda, P.O. Box 1973, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa (e-mail: mtm@univen.ac.za).

Abstract

Objectives. In South Africa, a gender power imbalance exists which may prevent women from negotiating safe sexual encounters. In this study we tested which constructs from Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) under these circumstances were most related to condom use intention. We hypothesized that in a situation of gender power imbalance self-efficacy would be a more salient correlate of intended condom use for females, while for males attitude to condoms and subjective norm would be more important.

Design. This study employed a cross-sectional questionnaire design.

Method. Male participants (N = 94) and female participants (N = 101) from Venda, South Africa completed standard, multi-item, reliable measures of TPB constructs (condom-related attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control, intention) and PMT constructs (vulnerability, severity, fear, response-efficacy, self-efficacy) and reported their past condom use behaviour.

Results. Regression analysis indicated that among males attitude to condoms and subjective norm were significantly related to intended condom use. Among females attitude and self-efficacy were significantly related to intended condom use.

Conclusion. The findings indicate that in a situation of gender power imbalance psychosocial correlates of intended condom use differ for males and females. Gender-specific analysis of determinants of condom use may be more appropriate in a situation of gender power imbalance.

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