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women. For example, condoms were the second leading method of choice among never-married women who reported using reversible contraception in 1988 and 1990, increasing from 12.3 percent in 1982 to 21.4 percent in 1988 and to 33.7 percent in 1990.
The popularity of other coitus-dependent methods, such as the diaphragm, cervical cap, contraceptive sponge, spermicides, periodic abstinence, and withdrawal, declined in the 1980s (Mosher, 1990). The decline was not uniform, however. For example, the decline in diaphragm use among women who reported use of reversible contraception was most apparent among younger women. In 1982, 6.0 percent of 15–19-year-olds, 11.1 percent of 20–24-year-olds, and 14.5 percent of 25–29-year-olds reported using diaphragms; by 1990, those proportions had decreased to 0.0, 0.7, and 3.0, respectively.
Risks and Benefits of Reversible Contraceptive Methods Reversible methods vary in their abilities to prevent unintended pregnancy, as noted in Table 4-4, and each is also associated with different risks and side effects. In addition, each has significant noncontraceptive benefits that are discussed much less frequently in the popular literature. This material is presented in Table 4-7.
Contraceptive Use Among Men
Much of the information about contraception, as noted earlier, is based on reports from women. Although women are often asked what methods their male partners use, it is important to review data derived from men themselves, because men have consistently contributed to their partners' protection against unintended pregnancy through their own use of contraceptive methods. This section discusses men's use of contraception at various stages of their reproductive lives, reflecting in particular the increase in men's use of condoms in the 1980s.
Use of Male Methods of Contraception at First Intercourse
Data from the National Survey of Adolescent Men suggest that condom use accounts for more than half of the contraception that occurs at first intercourse (Pleck et al., 1993). Among teenage men in 1988, for example, 55 percent used condoms and 38 percent used less effective methods such as withdrawal or no method; only 7 percent used an effective female method such as oral contraceptives. Condom use at first intercourse rose dramatically in this age group during the 1980s, and at the same time, use of ineffective methods or no contraception at first intercourse fell from 71 to 38 percent between 1979 and 1988 (Pleck et