Image credit: iStock/vchal Image credit: iStock/vchal

Young people are overconfident when it comes to using condoms, according to new research. A new study called Errors and Predictors of Confidence in Condom Use Amongst Young Australians Attending Music Festivals found that many youngsters are using condoms incorrectly or inconsistently and yet believe they are using them correctly.

The research included data taken from interviews of 290 people aged between 18 and 29, all of which attended a northern New South Wales music festival. It revealed that a small 18 per cent had actually used condoms in the last year, meaning the rest of those interviewed are at increased risk of STIs and unwanted pregnancy.

Just under half of those surveyed admitted that they had seen a condom slip off during sex, while over 50 per cent said this had happened when withdrawing the penis after sex. This suggests that condoms are not being used correctly, with slippage reducing the effectiveness of this method of protection.

Franklin John-Leader from the North Coast Positive Adolescent Sexual Health (PASH) consortium said: "They think they're pretty good at using condoms but that wasn't matched in the real skill observation.

"One of the common mistakes people make is not squeezing the tip of the condom, and that is actually clearly linked with condom failure."

Almost all (94 per cent) of those interviewed for the study had also had sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol within the last year. Around 19 per cent said that they were under the influence all or most of the time, which can seriously affect correct condom use.

Mr John-Leader continued to say that even if you can put a condom on correctly, drink or drugs can impact this ability and your judgement, which can mean spreading STIs.

However, the biggest issue seemed to be that many young people simply didn't know how to put a condom on correctly, which highlights a failure of the current sex education system. This is why it is important to practice putting condoms on in order to protect yourself and your partner from unwanted pregnancy and STIs.