Give Teens Condoms In High School | Teen Ink

Give Teens Condoms In High School

March 13, 2010
By amber_w_17 SILVER, Powell, Tennessee
amber_w_17 SILVER, Powell, Tennessee
7 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.
~Willliam Faulkner~

Every day thousands of teenagers are putting themselves at risk for pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and severe turmoil emotionally. Instead of thinking about all the consequences, more and more teens are becoming sexually active without completely understanding the precautions that need to be taken when doing so. Providing teens with the option of using a condom without question would greatly decrease these risks. The teens that are sexually active will most likely have sex with or without a condom, so providing them with total confidentiality would make these teens comfortable enough to make the responsible choice to use one. Some people may argue that condom distribution is a misguided solution due to the fact that it influences sexual promiscuity; however, that is a misconception because teenagers are quite capable of making good decisions, they just need to be better informed. The option of condoms being distributed in high schools needs to be implemented as soon as possible.

By providing condoms in high school it would give protection against pregnancy and STDs to otherwise at risk teens. Society needs to face the reality that teens are engaging in unprotected sex because of the lack of availability of protection. Instead, they want to blame media and other things for imprinting on teenagers that sex is cool. According to the New York Times, a study carried out by the American Academy of Pediatrics in April 2006, twelve-to fourteen-year-old teens exposed to sexual content through music, movies, television, and magazines are twice as likely to become sexually active within two years. Though this may hold some truth, teenagers are maturing faster in this century than any other. If they are educated well enough on all possible options, teens are very capable of making good decisions even though such things are supposedly influencing them. People who are against the idea of allowing teenagers to have full access to condoms because it is morally unacceptable need to realize that some teens could care less about if sex is morally just or not. The best thing to do to successfully reduce these indicated risks is to stop trying to drill abstinence is the only way into teenager’s heads. One thing teenagers cannot stand is someone telling them what they should do; therefore, just educate them on every means of protection. Yes, abstinence is the only fool proof way of complete protection, but the teenagers who decide not to wait need to know the safest way possible to prevent such issues. That is why along with providing condoms in high schools, instead of abstinence-only sex education; comprehensive sex education needs to be taught. The difference between these two is that in comprehensive sex education, not only is abstinence taught, but it also covers contraceptive and disease-prevention methods including condom use.

Furthermore, teens that are currently sexually active will most likely have sex with or without a condom, but if free access to condoms were inflicted they most likely would choose to use one. In the article Family Planning Perspectives (1998), A program that allowed availability to condoms was successfully enforced in a Los Angeles County High School and actually showed that it does decrease unprotected sex. This program concluded that it did not produce an increase in sexual activity but appeared to have led to improved condom use among males. The percentage of condom use among males who had already had used a condom every time went from 37% to 50%. The percentage of males reporting that they had used a condom the first time went from 46% to 56%. This particular study proves that condom availability in high schools does decrease unprotected sex, which in return, drastically decreases pregnancies and STDs. If such a program was implanted in every high school in the United States imagine how many lives it would save, not only from unplanned pregnancy, but deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

While teens may struggle with sexuality, they would struggle more if their decision to have sex without a condom because of embarrassment to buy them or unavailability resulted in a pregnancy or some sort of STD. Nowadays the only form of sexual education is abstinence only-based is, so how are teens supposed to use what they learn if they are not properly taught the other choices they have? Sex is a major decision among people of any age and may result in emotional distress no matter what protection measures are taken. If someone is not emotionally ready, they do not need to make such a decision. This still does not take away the fact that condoms need to be available for the ones that do engage in sexual activity. It may cause emotional problems, but people need to place that aside because at least they could use a condom to prevent other preventable troubles.

In conclusion, teenagers should not be having sex at all. Not every teenager is going to have sex; however, this is a growing problem that is resulting in teenage mothers and deadly, even incurable diseases. Schools need to stop trying to hide this issue and make the decision to at least provide some means of protection. Stop thinking about if it is morally right or whether it sends wrong messages, because it is already a proven fact that condoms drastically decrease pregnancies and STDs if they are properly used. If a school had the option to either provide them and save lives, or not provide them and possibly cause teenage pregnancy or spread of deadly disease why would they not want to make the obviously healthier decision? Please allow our nation’s adolescents abstinence alternatives.

The author's comments:
This is not to condone teenagers having sex and saying it is right. However, I do feel strongly about this issue and believe it needs to be implemented.

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This article has 24 comments.

on Mar. 24 2010 at 2:16 pm
Amanda_Reckonwith SILVER, Kenosha, Wisconsin
5 articles 10 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

I agree with your argument and support it. This is also an issue at colleges.
Where I am now, there isn't any condom distribution. The reason behind this, I'm told, is that when a woman donated a bunch of money to the school, one of the conditions was that the school couldn't give out condoms.
There are other ways to get them, sure, but we're living in a time when sex is out there in the open. Having some form of protection readily available shouldn't be something to be ashamed of or upset over.
Sometimes things happen; it's better to be prepared [thank you, Scar] than be surprised when the doc tells a girl she's pregnant or a boy he's got chlamydia or something.
Unfortunately, I think it's going to be a while before people accept that teens are only human and will have sex when they want. The priority should be keeping them safe.

Ridersblock said...
on Mar. 23 2010 at 4:16 pm
Ridersblock, Morehead, North Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Can miles truly separate you from friends... If you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there?' -Richard Bach

I see your point.. but I dont think condoms should be given out. They are relativly easy to get, but I guess it may be difficult for some. Good Job :-)

on Mar. 23 2010 at 7:36 am
salamander254 BRONZE, Branford, Connecticut
3 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."
-Che Guevara

I totally agree. Kids have been having sex earlier and earlier and they need to be protected. I know four girls in my high school alone that have gotten pregnant , and it wouldnt have happened if condoms were more readily available. High schools should also tell kids about Planned Parenthood , where they do give away free condoms.

on Mar. 23 2010 at 7:30 am
salamander254 BRONZE, Branford, Connecticut
3 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."
-Che Guevara

hey, i saw your thread on the forum. I totally agree with you, this is very wel written as well. There is a conference, for LGBT teens, called True Colors, wher they give away free condoms, thats where I get mne. REAL Sex Ed saves lives. Abstinence is great, but some people cant restrain themselves and when they do end up having sex , its best that they have the proper protection. Your article rocked my socks Amber!