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Jennifer Bass
The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction

Last modified: Monday, June 8, 2009

Kinsey Institute researchers awarded NIH grant

June 8, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Researchers at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction have received a $423,500 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study barriers to correct condom use.

Associate Scientist Erick Janssen, and Stephanie Sanders, associate director of The Kinsey Institute and professor in Gender Studies, are heading a two-year project addressing barriers heterosexual men may experience using male condoms.

Condoms have been shown to be effective in reducing the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases during sex when used consistently and correctly, yet many individuals and couples start intercourse without a condom or take off a condom and resume intercourse without it. Men who are concerned about losing erections during condom application or during sexual activity may be reluctant to use condoms. For other men, condoms may reduce sensation and stimulation, also influencing their willingness and ability to use condoms.

Stephanie Sanders

Stephanie Sanders

"Erection and arousal problems can interfere with correct and consistent condom use," Sanders said. "This project will help us better understand the mechanimsms involved and possible interventions to address these problems."

In the first phase of this project, men will be asked about various issues of arousal and sensation, including physical experience and perceptions about condoms.

The second phase involves a laboratory study, and focuses on penile erection and sensitivity during condom application. The project aims to understand the relationship between condom application and loss of erections and decreased sensation, including the role of condom skills and performance anxiety, and to find new ways to improve condom use among those who experience such problems.

The grant was awarded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a division of the NIH.

For more information, contact Jennifer Bass at 812-855-7686 or