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The Illusion of Safety in Monogamous Undergraduate Relationships

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Objectives: To determine the prevalence of sexual infidelity and disclosure among undergraduates and to identify the characteristics of those engaging in infidelity.

Methods: Analysis of responses from an online survey of 1341 undergraduate.

Results: Approximately 27 of males and 20 of females reported having oral, vaginal, or anal sex outside a partner-perceived monogamous relationship. Men over the age of 20, binge drinkers, fraternity members, male NCAA athletes, or the nonreligious were most likely to engage in these behaviors.

Conclusions: Implement educational strategies to encourage undergraduates in committed relationships to reconsider their STI risk and to protect themselves via condom usage.

Keywords: STD risk; cheating; college students; infidelity; monogamy

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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