Over the past 30 years, condom distribution has not effectively helped against sexually transmitted diseases (STD) or teen pregnancies because condoms are used incorrectly or not at all. The question remains: does it encourage teens to engage in sex by pushing condoms in their hands? We will explore the effectiveness of the program, taxpayer views, and religious views. The theory generally accepted in justifying the distribution of condoms to teenagers is that this will protect them against pregnancy and STDs. However, in all honesty handing out condoms to teenagers is a prescription for disaster.
Condom usage to curb pregnancy and STDs may be misunderstood by creating a false sense of security in people whose behavior continues to put them in danger. “We cannot tell people how much protection condoms give,” said Dr. Malcolm Potts, one of the inventors or prophylactics lubricated with spermicide and president of Family Health International, a nonprofit contraceptive research group in North Carolina. ”I’m always amazed that we know the atomic structure of the AIDS virus but don’t know much about condoms.
” Seriously, if one of the inventors of condoms is stating he is not sure how effective they are, then why promote the use through the condom distribution programs in schools? [ (Grunson) ] The assumption should not be that all teenagers are wanting or ready to be sexually active. “Schools send a nonsensical message when they teach kids not to have sex but then give them condoms” [ (Limbaugh) ]. The solution is not just having a basket of condoms sitting in the nurse’s office.
The condom distribution program encourages sexual activity and fosters the idea that premarital sex is acceptable.
While many people don’t support the condom distribution program, it is still being used, even with a very limited success rate due to the inability to ensure teens are using condoms all the time. In a 1988 survey conducted throughout the United States, 27 percent of low income, never been married teens that relied on condoms became pregnant due to inconsistent condom use [ (JD) ]. In a more personal case, that of Cyntria Webber, the availability of condoms did not prevent her from having sex without a condom and becoming pregnant. Cyntria is quoted as saying, “I just wasn’t thinking about birth control at the time.” According to the same source neither was the father of her child [ (Natale) ].
A major problem with the condom distribution program is teens not using condoms consistently or correctly. According to Natale, “A condom gives you the courage to get in the backseat, but you don’t use it once you get back there.” If consistent and correct use of condoms could be established among teens, then maybe the condom program would produce better results. But as we know, this is not the case. A study taken at San Francisco’s Balboa High School showed disastrous results for those wanting the condom distribution program to succeed. According to the January-February 1991 issue of Family Planning Perspectives:
When condoms were distributed at Balboa High School, the results were the opposite of what the program set out to do. The program failed horribly; the exposure to STDs and pregnancies doubled instead of decreasing. This program was supposed to reduce annual teenage births but instead they spiraled upward by one third. This figure didn’t include number of teens who aborted their pregnancies. Even without those figures, the increase in births with a condom distribution program intact is phenomenal [ (JD) ]. On June, 10th,2011, Pope, Benedict XVI was ridiculed, even by the Catholics, for his statement, “We cannot solve the problem of aids by distributing condoms.” Regardless of arguments over the morality of an individual’s use of a condom, there is no doubt about the Vatican’s certainty that the promotion of condoms has been a failure in the battle against AIDS [ (Fink) ]. The condom distribution program in public schools offends people’s religions.
But presenting students with condoms in a publicly funded environment presents a potential offence to people from a variety of religions. Catholics and followers of other religions who don’t believe in birth control find the apparent encouragement of sexual activity an affront to their religious traditions. Various religions are members of society, and those citizens have a right to voice their views about condom distribution or machines in their schools. Schools are not the place for condom machines, just as schools are not that place for cigarette machines or alcohol bars. Many high school students also have a problem smoking and drinking, but that does not mean schools should distribute filtered cigarettes or have a designated driver program. Certain activities, such as drinking and smoking, are legally appropriate for adults. Sexual activity should also be recognized as an activity best reserved for mature adults. Schools are even promoting safe sex to teens as young as 14. A teen that young should not be involved in sex at all.
The Obama administration has launched a $110 million teen pregnancy prevention effort that will support a range of programs, including those that teach about the risks of specific sexual activities, and the benefits of contraception; and others focus primarily on encouraging teens to delay sex. One of them is the Comprehensive Sex Education program which promotes abstinence from sex, acknowledges that many teenagers will become sexually active, and teaches teens about contraception and condom use. This includes discussions about abortion, STDs, and HIV. Researcher Douglas Kirby, of the National Campaign to End Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies, examined studies of prevention programs which had a strong experimental design and used appropriate analysis. Two thirds of the 48 comprehensive sex-ed programs studied had positive effects [ (Stein) ].
Get real. Taxpayers should not have to support programs that they find morally objectionable. Widespread condom distribution will establish sexual activity as the norm among young teens, creating peer pressure to participate in sex. The added temptation to engage in sexual activity that is “protected” will result in more women having sex at a younger age. Providing teens with condoms actually encourages the earlier onset of sexual activity. If teens believe they will be “safe” when using a condom, they are much likely to be deterred from engaging in dangerous and immoral behavior.
Twenty years ago when I was 14, you had to get a permission slip signed to just attend sex education class. But today teens can obtain condoms, birth control, and pregnancy tests without parents’ consent. This is so wrong: In fact it is sickening! It should be left up to the parent to raise their children and decide what to allow their children to obtain. Teenagers don’t understand all the health risks involved with sex. Condoms are not a cure-all.
Today, everybody wants a miracle drug, some magic potion, but nothing is 100 percent effective. That’s a concept people just don’t understand. Even if you use condoms, it doesn’t mean that you can sleep with a new person everyday without risk. “The safe sex message just isn’t true,” said Dr. Bruce Voeller, who is conducting research on the effectiveness and the durability of condoms. He added, “You’re still playing a kind of Russian roulette. Instead of having six bullets in the chamber, you have one” [ (Grunson) ]. It’s a dangerous game that teens don’t think about during the heat of the moment.
Even with decades of trying different programs to reduce statistics in teen STDs and unplanned pregnancies, an effective approach is not putting condoms in teenager hands. In fact, the condom distribution program within schools has not prevented STDs or pregnancies; it has done the opposite as shown by the increase in STDs and teen pregnancies. By providing condoms, schools offend people’s religions and make taxpayers pay the expense of the program. Even with the so-called good intentions this program was supposed to have, it’s turned a page in history and not in a positive way. Safe sex is now referred to as safer sex; however, in reality, it’s not. Handing out condoms is a band-aid on a huge problem that keeps spinning out of control.