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**Main purpose of the project:** Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and condomless sex have been increasing. Although many health problems are preventable, people often fail to regulate their actions and, engage in threatening behaviors. We will assess how people’s regulatory motives for security versus pleasure shape how they approach sexual behavior and sexual-health decisions. **Design/methodology/approach:** Using quantitative and qualitative surveys, we will examine if regulatory motives shape knowledge and beliefs about STIs and condom use differently (Study 1), and intentions to engage in sexual health behaviors (Study 2). A longitudinal study will then assess if regulatory motives predict sexual health behaviors over time (Study 3). **Potential results:** People with stronger motives for security (vs. pleasure) should know more about STIs and their implications for sexual health (Study 1), perceive more health risks, and have stronger intentions toward condom use and STI testing (Study 2), and actually engage in more safe sex behaviors six months later (Study 3). **Social relevance of the research:** This project is potentially relevant for the general population, non-profit organizations, and public health institutions, by contributing to current debates regarding condom use and sexual health. Results may be used to advise policymakers and sexual health educators, provide evidence-based recommendations to implement safe-sex behaviors, and raise awareness to sexual health. **Originality/value of the project:** Despite a myriad of variables being used in theoretical models to predict condom use and inform evidence-based interventions, condomless sex rates are still high. Our research will provide novel insights into whether motivational factors can shape risky sexual health decisions above and beyond other variables used in the field.
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