Dating Couples and Their Relationships: Intimacy and Contraceptive Use

By Davis, Mary J.; Bibace, Roger | Adolescence, Spring 1999 | Go to article overview

Dating Couples and Their Relationships: Intimacy and Contraceptive Use


Davis, Mary J., Bibace, Roger, Adolescence


Surveys in the United States indicate high rates of unintended pregnancy, as well as a rising number of cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) among heterosexuals (Centers for Disease Control, 1994). These trends have largely been attributed, to failure regarding contraceptive practices (Institute of Medicine, 1994).

In their investigations of the ineffective use of contraceptives, researchers have generally conceptualized the issue in individualistic and gender-specific terms. In particular, researchers have focused on the role of females rather than both sexes (e.g., Grinstead, Kegeles, Binson, & Eversley, 1993), and have often designed intervention and prevention programs solely for females (e.g., El-Bassel & Schilling, 1992). However, individual-focused theoretical frameworks have been criticized. Amaro (1995), for example, questions the use of theories which assume that "sexual behaviors and encounters are always initiated under the individual's control" (p. 440).

Despite findings in the 1970s on sexual risk-taking behaviors in premarital interactions which suggested that one of the strongest, most persistent correlates of contraceptive use is partner involvement, or seriousness of the partners' relationship (Reiss, Banwart, & Foreman, 1975; Foreit & Foreit, 1978), studies in the subsequent two decades have largely failed to examine the relationships of sexually active dating couples. An exception was Inazu's (1987) study of contraceptive use at first coitus, which found that couples who discussed intercourse and contraception before engaging in sex were more likely to contracept with effective methods than were those who did not discuss such issues. Inazu suggested that partners who are more seriously involved care more about one another and are able, furthermore, to translate this concern into effective and consistent contraceptive behavior.

Bandura (1988) posited that the management of sexuality involves managing interpersonal relationships, and noted the importance of examining the nature of relationships experienced by sexually active couples. However, according to Butcher, Manning, and O'Neal (1991) and Moore and Rosenthal (1991), there has been little examination of the nature of relationship dynamics between males and females relative to contraceptive use.

Findings from the marriage counseling literature provide theoretical direction for an investigation of this issue. For example, intimacy has been highlighted as an important relational dimension (Schaefer & Olson, 1981). Intimacy involves satisfaction of mutual needs (Clinebell & Clinebell, 1970) and closeness to another human being on a variety of levels (Dahms, 1972).

Schaefer and Olson (1981) adhere to an interactional model, and describe intimacy as existing in various forms and enhancing personal well-being. They identify five intimacy dimensions: emotional, social, sexual, intellectual, and recreational. Emotional intimacy involves open and reciprocal communication, feeling understood by a partner, and having a sense of togetherness and mutual concern or support. Social intimacy entails spending time with others as a couple, having mutual friends, and sharing similar interests. Sexual intimacy pertains to sexual intercourse and other sexual expression. Intellectual intimacy involves the sharing of beliefs regarding important issues, respecting a partner's ideas, and assisting a partner to clarify thoughts. Recreational intimacy entails participating in recreational activities together.

The present study examined the contraceptive behaviors and realized and expected levels of emotional, social, sexual, and intellectual intimacy of young dating couples. It sought to extend the parameters of research on contraceptive use by moving beyond an individualistic or female-focused framework.

METHOD

Participants

Thirty heterosexual dating couples attending a private New England university volunteered to participate. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Dating Couples and Their Relationships: Intimacy and Contraceptive Use
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.