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More than half of women under 30 use a condom when they first have sex with a new partner, Finer concluded after analyzing data from the U. Experts say women tend to underestimate those figures and men tend to overestimate.Online dating, Padgett said, enables women to ignore men who don't make them feel safe or fit their standards.
Women who date online are likely to take precautions to protect their personal safety when first meeting a man face-to-face, but often are much less careful about protecting their sexual health once that encounter moves to the next level, a Houston-based study has found.While the women who were surveyed went to great lengths to screen online acquaintances before meeting them, nearly a third reported having sex on the first date and three-quarters of those said they did not use condoms, according to the study by The University of Texas School of Public Health.Those behaviors reflect a "virtual intimacy" the women developed with men online before meeting them in person, said the study's author, Paige Padgett."They may not think of it as being risky sex," said Padgett, a research associate who specializes in epidemiology and sex research.Dan Ariely , a professor of behavioral economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the apparent contradiction doesn't surprise him.People behave differently in the heat of the moment from when they plan ahead, he said.
"When somebody's sitting by their laptop at home and writing these sterile e-mails to each other, there's no sense of emotionality," he said.
"But when they meet and they get aroused, life changes." Among the general population, condom use with a new partner is more common, said Lawrence Finer, director of domestic research for the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit that focuses on sex research. According to a survey by ABC News in 2004, 17 percent of women report having had sex on a first date, compared with 42 percent of men.
"They don't see it as a one-night stand, even though it might turn out that way, because they really feel they have a relationship with this man." Padgett surveyed 740 women who posted personal ads on seven dating Web sites.
Some were looking for love, others for sex, she said.
During the five-month survey, which began in July 2002, 568 of the women met face-to-face with at least one man with whom their first contact was online.
After taking precautions to ensure their safety during the first in-person encounter, 30 percent of the women reported having sex during that date, and 77 percent of those did not use condoms, Padgett reported.