Blog Post 1 – Condom Distribution in Schools

The example of a dispute in history is one that has been going on for the past couple decades and it is the controversy over whether or not schools should be making condoms available to students. This began when the AIDS crisis was introduced in the 1990s and sexually transmitted diseases became something of a large concern. A rather small amount of schools decided to start the supplying of condoms to students along with an increase in sexual education about the importance of use to decrease STDs and teenage pregnancy. However, problems arose quickly among other schools, parents, and religious groups. The thought was that the distribution of condoms to students would not only increase the amount of sex among these teens but also encourage them to become active sooner.

On the religious stance, many conservative religions do not believe in the use of contraceptives so the use of condoms is clearly frowned upon. Along with that, many parents think this will increase the sexual activity of their children and so both of those groups advocate for sexual education programs that enforce a more abstinence-based education schools and some have brought in government roles to back them up. Policies had been tossed around to reduce and/or remove the condom distribution in schools, but not many have succeeded. The amount of STDs in our population are held 25% by the adolescent population which is huge so in the eyes of doctors and those in the public health sector, the availability of condoms is crucial to our society. Most research studies that I came across on this topic suggested that there was no significant increase in sexual activity among youth that were supplied with the condoms, but there was an increase in the improvement of condom use among those that were.  Whether or not these statements and research are true, another source said that it would be best to distribute the condoms according to the area and population of the school itself. Higher risk areas would obviously benefit more than others and overall, having an abstinence-based sex education class would make the message most clear.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117403&page=1

4 thoughts on “Blog Post 1 – Condom Distribution in Schools

  1. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/condoms-teens-pregnancy/489626/

    For the record I 100% actually agree that condoms should be available in schools, but for the purpose of the assignment, I will provide the counter argument on this issue.

    The findings of the 2016 Notre Dame study titled “The Incidental Fertility Effects of School Condom Distribution Programs” access to condoms in schools did not decrease the rate of teen births, it increased it. According to the study “condom access didn’t decrease the rate of teen births, though.. it seems to have increased it. The researchers estimate that these programs were responsible for roughly two additional births per 1,000 teens”. Another point brought up was that schools may have the ability to distribute the condoms, but not necessarily the ability to discuss the education piece of safety, consent, and proper use. According to the article “easy access to condoms created worse outcomes for students, not better… it seems that lack of access to information may have hurt them even more”. The point of condom distribution in schools is to help protect students against STDS, unplanned pregnancies, and to promote “safe sex”, but with results indicating an increase in births and sexually active teens, should these (often underfunded school) spend money and resources to a cause yielding negative results? As to be expected, parental consent came a point of contention while researching this topic. On several blogs, parents of students complained that it should be his or her parental right to decide if his/her child has access to condoms. According to a 2009 public school review, “in the early 1990s, when New York City public schools pioneered its condom-distribution program, several parents brought a lawsuit against the school district and the Board of Education, alleging that parents should have the right to prevent their children from participating in the program”. It begs the questions, would schools be open for lawsuits by taking on the responsibility and liability of distributing condoms in schools.

    Would schools be setting up a health conscious and helpful program, or would they be setting themselves up for a costly lawsuit?

  2. Response 1 Blog Post

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/the-pope/8148944/The-Pope-drops-Catholic-ban-on-condoms-in-historic-shift.html

    In response to your blog post I came across an article called, “The Pope drops Catholic ban on condoms in historic shift”, that I found to be interesting in respect to a counterargument for the subject of condoms distribution in schools. The Catholic church has always had a very strict stance on the use of contraceptives as they “interfere with the creation of life.”(Jones 2010) but with STDs on the rise, primarily among the youth, the Catholic church has amended their views to accept condoms, only as, protection for human life. This means that they still do not support or allow the use of condoms as a way of preventing conception but merely for preventing disease. This creates an interesting situation where the Catholic Church will still oppose condom distribution if it is not proceeded by the proper message, one not of contraception but of strictly protection. The Catholic Church change in stance on this is progressive as the modern acceptance of any new policy is rare within religion.

    References
    Jones, J. (2010, November 20). The Pope drops Catholic ban on condoms in historic shift. Retrieved July 10, 2016, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/the-pope/8148944/The-Pope-drops-Catholic-ban-on-condoms-in-historic-shift.htm

  3. I’ve honestly always felt a little weird about condoms in schools myself. When I was in school it did seem to me as though they were encouraging students to have sex by offering condoms and having the available. I never would have taken them because I would have been way to shy to grab a condom from the nurse or secretaries office. Even though I never used the schools resources some students did and knowing that we had immediate access to condoms prompted many of our parents to talk to us about sex and the dangers of unprotected sex. An older study I found in the American Journal of Public Health believed to have found that the sooner parents talk to their children about sex, comparing those who talked to their children before their first year of having sex, those who talked to them during their first year of having sex, and those who talked to them after their first year of having sex, the more likely their child was to use a condom and continue to use one. After some thought I believe that condoms in schools are a positive thing because they can start the conversation about safe sex and allow kids the resources to follow through with safe practices.

    Miller K., Levin M., Whitaker D., and Xu X. 1998. Patters of Condom Use Among Adolescents: The Impact of Mother- Adolescent Communication. American Journal of Public Health 88(10): 1542-1544.

  4. I just recently put thought into the use of contraceptives in general. As you mentioned in your post, most religions do not believe in the use of contraceptives simply because sex before marriage is not honorable and after marriage, they are unnecessary. Still, offering condoms at school eliminates the shame most students feel purchasing them in stores. It is logical to equip areas where STD rates are more alarming, but who’s to say that by removing them from areas where rates are not as alarming may not cause these rates to increase? It is better to be safe than sorry.

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