The study examined sexual delay discounting, or the devaluation of condom-protected sex in the face of delay, as a risk factor for sexually transmitted infection (STI) among college students. Participants (143 females, 117 males) completed the sexual delay discounting task (Johnson & Bruner, 2012) and questionnaires of risky sexual behavior, risk perception, and knowledge. Participants exhibited steeper sexual delay discounting (above and beyond general likelihood of having unprotected sex) when partners were viewed as more desirable or less likely to have a STI, with males demonstrating greater sexual delay discounting than females across most conditions. Importantly, greater self-reported risky sexual behaviors were associated with higher rates of sexual delay discounting, but not with likelihood of using a condom in the absence of delay. These results provide support for considering sexual delay discounting, with particular emphasis on potential delays to condom use, as a risk factor for STI among college students.
- College students
- Risky sexual behavior
- Sexual delay discounting
- Sexual delay discounting task
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)