Dateline: April, 2007, Issue 1

Are women who carry condoms less credible sexual assault victims?

Safer sex health educators encourage women to carry condoms. This health practice is legally hazardous to women who are victims of sexual assault.

Hynie and colleagues (2003) studied whether knowing that a female victim of a sexual assault was carrying a condom influenced perceptions of her sexual intention and subsequent judgments of the sexual assault. When the woman was carrying a condom, the woman was perceived as more sexually willing and the sexual assault claim perceived as less valid. The male defendant's condom possession had no impact on jurors' judgments.

Women who carry condoms are less credible assault victims.

Source Hynie, M., Schuller, R. A. & Couperthwaite, L. (2003). Perceptions of sexual intent: The impact of condom possession. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 27, pp. 75-79.