One of the challenges facing researchers in the domain of human immunodeficiency virus prevention is the assessment of condom use in an unbiased self-reported manner. The current study presents the development and preliminary validation of an indirect condom use test (I-CUTE), designed to assess condom use tendencies and to overcome self-report biases. Two samples were included using correlational designs. In sample 1, 88 students from European university completed the I-CUTE with questionnaires of condom use barriers, social desirability, and condom use negotiation self-efficacy. In sample 2, 212 students from sub-Saharan universities completed the I-CUTE with questionnaires of condom use barriers and knowledge. The I-CUTE included 17 pictures of human figures in relation to condom use, where participants had to choose one of the four a-priori given sentences reflecting the figures’ thoughts. This represented a semi-projective, yet standardized test. In sample 1, I-CUTE scores were inversely related to barriers, positively correlated with condom use negotiation self-efficacy and unrelated to social desirability. In sample 2, I-CUTE scores were inversely related to barriers and unrelated to knowledge scores. In a multiple regression, condom use barriers had a unique contribution to explaining variance in I-CUTE scores, beyond the contribution of background variables and knowledge. These results support the preliminary reliability and validity of the I-CUTE tool in a variety of cultures, and reveal its lack of bias by social desirability and the importance of condom use barriers in condom use tendencies.
- Condom use
- Social desirability