US females 'lower condom use' during college

Females in the US often use condoms less frequently as their first year in college progresses, a new study has found.

Published in the Journal of Sex Research, the investigation revealed this is particularly true of young women who binge drink.

The findings - which also claim ladies from less affluent backgrounds and those with lower grade point averages are likely to indulge in unprotected sex - may be especially alarming as this stage in a person's life tends to be one when they are highly active in the bedroom.

Jennifer Walsh, a researcher with the Centres for Behavioural and Preventive Medicine at the Miriam Hospital - which has roots back to 1907 - said: "College women often engage in serial monogamy, resulting in multiple partners during the college years and they are often unaware of their partners' risk."

She added being able to identify shifts in behaviour associated with a reduced use of prophylactics could result in more targeted intervention efforts and educational programmes being drawn up.