Give Teens Condoms In High School
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.