While other studies have looked at attitudes toward condoms, this is the first to focus on Americans, said Herbenick.
In addition to the findings about sexual pleasure from condoms and lubricants, the study found that women were less able to identify what material the condom was made of than men: about 24 percent of women were unsure versus 9 percent of men. This was probably because men typically purchase condoms, said the study authors.
Not knowing the type of condom used has health implications for both partners. Water-based lubricants are safer to use with condoms, while oil and petroleum-based products can cause latex to deteriorate, explained Rabin.
Knowing what people do and do not know about condoms and lubricants shows health educators what they need to teach, said Herbenick.
"We continue to have high rates of sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies and HIV, and people's attitudes are part of the problem," she said.
The key to helping people understand the benefits of condoms and lubricants is education, Herbenick said.
Learn how condoms help prevent sexually transmitted diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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