Most are missing the point.
Schools are not giving out condoms to promote sex. It is to promote safe sex due to an extremely high rate of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies. This is a health issue; if it wasn't then there wouldn't be this debate. There is very little evidence to support that giving out condoms increases sexual activity.
Schools are not just going to give out condoms to all students without proper discussion about sex education and sex practices. Likewise participation in these classes/session as well allowing students to receive condoms in school will be done with parental permission with parents having the right to refuse their child to partake.
It is all good saying that students should go to their parents to seek advice and guidance about sex and sex education, but that is what has been expected for a long time, and it is clearly obvious it is not working. Therefore school allows a safe and comfortable environment where professionals are able to discuss these things with students. Many parents do not have the proper education to give good advice to their children especially in low social economic status areas.
Those children who are fortunate enough to have parents who have significant knowledge and can talk to their children about sex should not have a problem with condoms being given out in school. Most of the people disagreeing on here say that their children should talk to you about sex, however if they do then giving them a condom will have no effect on their choices of having sex/safe sex causing no real issue. On the other hand if your child chooses not to talk to you, at least they have gained knowledge and have protection in case they do choose to have sex. If you had a problem with your child bringing home a condom, what message are you sending your child?
Before anything, it is not solely up to the male to be responsible for providing the protection. It is up to both the male and the female to make sure protection is worn. Therefore knowledge and protection should be given to both genders.
If children want to act like adults then they should take adult responsibility. Easy enough to say, unfortunately does not happen. In an ideal world we wouldn’t have this issue. With sex still a taboo subject in many homes and schools, lots of students do not receive sex education until they are in their later years of schooling. How are these students able to make adult informed decision when they have little knowledge on the subject? We cannot expect them to be adults, they are children. Children are more likely to make mistakes and make poor decisions, how can we punish them by not providing them with the proper support and knowledge they need and if this means giving them condoms then that is something we need to do.
Kids will have sex and kids are not the most critical thinkers. Condoms should be accessible to high school students for free. The alternative will be kids still having sex, but with the risk of pregnancy or STDs. While some students will be wise enough to purchase their own forms of contraceptives, the majority will not.
I think they should.
I don't think that giving condoms to high school students is telling them to go ahead and have sex. It is giving them the ability to make the right choice if they do decide to have sex. I would rather my kids have access to condoms at school and not use them, than be too embarrassed to buy condoms and get someone pregnant.
Let's be Realistic
While I understand that we don't wish to encourage sexual behavior in front of teenagers, and that abstinence is the ideal, we need to understand that not every teenager is going to follow that. Remembering my teenage years, I well remember how it was having these adolescent hormones raging through me. I also was fortunate enough to have a well rounded education that taught me, not only about the risks involved, but ways in which these risks can be minimized of avoided. This helped me to make the right decisions in regards to sex. Handing out condoms doesn't encourage or endorse sexual behavior so much as give young people a means to protect themselves from pregnancy and disease should any of them give in to their urges. Teenage sexuality has existed as long as their were teenagers, and no matter how many times we teach them to wait until marriage or abstain from sex, there are always going to be those who won't listen. And they should not be penalized with an unwanted pregnancy.
They will do it no matter what
They are going to do it whether you give them condoms or not. So you might as well just make sure they are safe. You are not encouraging them. You are preventing them from pregnancy and STD's. They will do it anyway, so why not make sure they are safe?
These students aren't stupid.
They are going to have sex- if schools give them the condoms or not. Yeah, they may be embarrassed to buy condoms, but why is that? Because society puts a label on them as scum if they are having sex outside of marriage or a relationship. Would you rather students steal condoms? Would you rather continue to have an issue with teen pregnancy? Do you want your 16-year-old to have to live with HIV and monitor everything they do and have to take dozens of medications and vitamins to keep themselves healthy? This is not a "green light" for teens to have sex- if they are going to have sex, they will. Instilling a sense of self-respect will keep your teen from sleeping around, but providing condoms will help keep students safer in their intimate lives.
Schools should let students have condoms if they so desire.
Many students, about 70%, will have sex at some point within their high school careers. Granted, that number is declining rapidly over the decades, but it will never reach zero; not so long as teenagers are themselves. Sex is a natural part of life, its how we were all made, and people are going to have it. Some because you tell them not to, others because they're pressured, and so on. A lot of schools provide 'abstinence-only' programs for students to be in, and others don't have any means of teaching students about safe sex. There are a lot of things wrong with society today, and this is one of them in my opinion. Students, if they so desire, should be allowed to have condoms. If they don't get it from school, they'll buy it form the drug store. Ether way, teenagers have sex. It's life.
Think about it.
Your kids are not gonna tell you every single detail that goes on in their life. Sex is one of those things. You should support the fact that your kid's school would give free condoms to ensure the safety of their students. Not saying they shouldn't practice abstinence, which I'd prefer, but you can't force them. You are two different people. The message that condoms are being given at school sends shouldn't be,"we're giving you condoms, now go have sex". It's meant to be, "Hey, if you're gonna go out and have sex, we want you to be safe while doing it.
Students should have them!
Many teenagers have sex. This is a fact that everyone knows. And I don;t know about you but I would rather have them have safe sex than having the girl get pregnant or either one getting an STD. Now schools shouldn't just give them out for free. Like if a student asks for one the school gives a condom to a couple no questions asked. There should be like counseling sessions or something. This isn't something that kids should be rushing into. It would make me feel better to know though that they are having safe sex compared to having sex without condoms.
Yes They Should!
By comparison, in schools reporting lower HRC use, the percentage of sexually active teens decreased from 61 to 56 percent, while condom use a last intercourse rose from 57 to 61 percent. Non-program schools showed an increase in sexual activity among teens, while condom use increased from 62 to 65 percent.
An increase in reported sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS, among adolescents has prompted many communities to take action to protect their youth. One proven method is to provide comprehensive sexuality education along with school based programs that make condoms available to sexually active youth. Numerous national health organizations have adopted policies in support of school condom availability as a component of comprehensive sexuality education.
The topic of sex is a very controversial matter especially among teenagers. Teenagers are at a point in their lives where hormones are at a high and they feel the need to indulge in sexual activities. Therefore it is important that teenagers understand the importance of safe sex and the consequences of unprotected sex.
There are many factors affecting Jamaican high school students as they increasingly participate in unprotected sexual acts and as such condoms should be distributed as they help to reduce these factors; mainly the high teen pregnancy rate, the high STD/STI rate and also the ineffectiveness of abstinence. The first major factor faced by high school students is teenage pregnancy. According to (Guttmacher Institute, 2010), teenagers (aged 15–19) who do not use a contraceptive during sex are twice as likely to become teen mothers; this has become the newest trend among teenage girls.
It has also been noticed among health authorities that there is a significant rise in teenage pregnancies, according to (Watson, 2011) from the Jamaican Gleaner; adolescent pregnancy continues to be a major public-health challenge in Jamaica, approximately 18 per cent of children born in Jamaica are attributed to adolescent girls and as such condoms should be distributed in schools as a counter measure. Watson also stated that more than 60 of every 100 pregnancies (66.2 percent) among adolescent girls in the age group 15-19 years were unplanned in 2008.
As a result of these findings it can clearly be seen that there is a need for condoms to be distributed in schools to help reduce/ control the teenage pregnancy rate. The second major factor is sexually transmitted diseases commonly known as STD’s. According to (Hirsch, L, MD, 2010) STD’s have become increasingly common among teens. It is well known that latex condoms are the only form of birth control that reduces the risk of contracting a STD, and must be used every time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012 supports this by stating that the correct and consistent use of male latex condoms can reduce the risk of STD transmission, including HIV infection. As a result of this, condoms should be made readily available to students. A study done by (Horn & Keough, 2012) reported that 12 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases occur each year, 3 million (or 25 percent) are among teenagers about 13 percent of youth ages 13 to 19 contract a STD each year; this is a very high percentage of teenagers, if condoms were to be distributed there would be a significant decrease.
Another major factor is the increasing ineffectiveness of abstinence programs. Students have begun to neglect this message as they explore their sexuality. According to (Toledo, 2011) schools using abstinence-only sex education programs have significantly higher teenage pregnancy and birth rates than schools with more comprehensive sex education programs. Supporting this is (Douglas, 2008) who states studies show that most abstinence programs did not delay initiation of sex and only 3 of 9 had any significant positive effects on any sexual behaviour.
If we cannot convince students to abstain from sexual activities, we should promote safe sex in schools by distributing condoms. An article written by (Stepp, 2007) supports this by stating that a study authorized by Congress in the United States of America in 1997 following 2000 children from elementary or middle school to high school concluded that abstinence-only sex education does not keep teenagers from having sex. Some may argue that condoms should not be distributed in high schools because they promote sexual activities and also due to the fact that schools are institutions of education.
According to (Cullinan, 2004), there will be a problem if teachers distribute condoms, as they will be seen to be promoting sexual activity. Cullinan futher states that education is about providing information; we can provide the information about condoms and where to get them, but they should not be distributed in schools. However, I believe that providing information is not enough, it is better that condoms are easily available to students.
Condoms do not promote sexual activity, they just provide protection; (Quigle, 2003) states that condom availability was not associated with greater sexual activity among adolescents but was associated with greater condom use among those who were already sexually active. Supporting this is (Fisher, 2011) who states that paediatric studies show the availability of condoms does not increase sexual activity but can decrease unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.
In conclusion, I believe that distributing condoms in high school is a great first step as there are many factors affecting Jamaican high school students as they increasingly participate in unprotected sexual acts and as such condoms should be distributed as they help to reduce these factors; mainly the high teen pregnancy rate, the high STD/STI rate and also the ineffectiveness of abstinence.