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Pediatricians support condoms for teens
October 28th, 2013
02:00 PM ET

Pediatricians support condoms for teens

Providing condoms to adolescents has been - and likely will continue to be - a controversial topic. But the American Academy of Pediatrics is asking communities, educators, parents and doctors to step up in making this form of contraception more available to teens.

"Although abstinence of sexual activity is the most effective method for prevention of pregnancy and STIs (sexually transmitted infections), young people should be prepared for the time when they will become sexually active," several doctors wrote in a policy statement published Monday in the organization's journal Pediatrics. "When used consistently and correctly, male latex condoms reduce the risk of pregnancy and many STIs, including HIV."

Teen pregnancy rates are declining in the United States; in 2011, the number of babies born to women aged 15 to 19 was at a record low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, continue to be a problem for this age group. The CDC estimates that people between the ages of 15 and 24 account for half of the 20 million new STI cases that are reported each year.

In the statement, an update from their 2001 position, the pediatricians' organization recommends removing restrictions and barriers that often prevent teens from accessing condoms. Parents should be talking to their teens about sex, the doctors say, and pediatricians can help. The paper's authors encourage their colleagues to provide condoms in their offices and support increasing access in the community. They also recommend providing condoms in schools, in addition to comprehensive sexual education.

It's advice some are already taking to heart. The fairly new Condom Access Project allows teens in seven California counties to confidentially request a pack of condoms online, up to once a month.

In New York, high schools are required to provide Health Resource Rooms where students can access free condoms and other health information. Boston, Philadelphia and other cities are also jumping on board to offer free condoms to teens.

Free condoms for your 12-year-old?

Research has shown that sexual education programs do not increase sexual activity among teens, and may have a significant impact on reducing risky behaviors. One 2007 meta-analysis found that sexual education programs may delay the age at which teens start having sex, reduce the number of partners they have sex with, and increase condom and contraceptive use. The same is true for condom accessibility programs.

Several studies have shown that providing condoms to teens, especially in high schools, encourages them to use condoms "more often and more consistently" without encouraging them to have sex more often, or with more partners, according to Advocates for Youth.

For example, a 2003 study done on Massachusetts high schools' condom availability programs showed "adolescents in schools where condoms were available were more likely to receive condom use instruction and less likely to report lifetime or recent sexual intercourse. Sexually active adolescents in those schools were twice as likely to use condoms."

In the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (the latest data available), 47.4% of students reported having sexual intercourse at least once in their lifetime; 33.7% were sexually active at the time of the survey. Approximately 60% of the sexually active students reported using a condom during their last sexual experience - an increase of 14% since 1991.

How sexually active young people can stay safe


soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. Sarah

    If you want to make sure kids have access to safe tools and condoms, fine.

    But can we please stop with the "if they're teens, they're gonna do it!" mantra or that mentality of "we're just animals and can't help it." Fact is, you can help it and as a sentient being, you have all the tools you need to make decisions and to not act like a stag in rut. (This goes for adults, too!) Most teens actually don't go out and do it, believe it or not.

    It does bother me quite a bit that we've thrown a lot of effort behind a topic like condoms but we're brushing aside the other very important topic of teaching kids how to cope with peer pressure and how to recognize it for what it is. From that one episode of Glee calling teen virgins "cold," to educators outright telling kids that it's okay to use the "I have hormones" excuse, this is a step backwards in sexual education - abstinence or not.

    October 28, 2013 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      We're all not born with the same mental capabilites. If common sense was the norm the republicans wouldn't have shutdown the gov't.

      October 28, 2013 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
    • R

      Some people have a sex drive and some don't. Unfortunately its the ones that don't that try and set the tone for those that do.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:14 | Report abuse |
    • ohhaihowareu

      @Sarah, I agree. @Ken, way to stay on topic. @R, most teens develop a sex drive (pretty much all of them, unless they have some kind of developmental problem), but that doesn't mean that we need to act on every impulse or every drive that we have. We're not dogs in heat.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
    • Tigerflower

      I hear you loud and clear, I do. And I agree that not all teens are sexually active and suggesting that they are, is as delusional as suggesting that they're not. But it's still really important for all parents to hear the "fine" part of this message. For purposes of this article let's keep the focus on SAFE and not get sidetracked by other issues.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:52 | Report abuse |
    • Morgan

      I completely agree with you that abstinence has become a dirty word and peer pressure is absolutely something that needs to be addressed first and foremost (starting in elementary school). However, your argument that teenagers have the tools to make good decisions is just not true. Can we stop just telling kids "stop having sex, you're too young" and instead explain the consequences. Tell them about contraceptive and STD preventative choices because the fact is that SOME (47% according to this article) will have sex, and only 60% of them are using condoms. The problem is that when we don't tell provide them with this information, someone else will. That someone else is usually their peers and their peers are usually wrong.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:02 | Report abuse |
    • Knucklehead

      Yes, we should be teaching them all those things. But stop and consider for a second all the things you told them that they didn't listen to, that they didn't get until they did the wrong thing.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:30 | Report abuse |
    • Crimzin

      Sounds like you are advocating focusing efforts on abstinence preaching instead of sexual education.

      Do you also think that we should just tell people not to drive, refuse to teach them how and then hand them their license at age 18 and expect them to behave responsibly? Wake up. It doesn't work. Nobody is saying that you have to encourage kids to have sex or tell them that as long as they have condoms they're safe and not taking any risk. NOBODY. It's just people like you that interpret it that way every time somebody tries to breath some realism into the air. I went to a university that had free condoms. Do you know how the distribution worked? There was a bowl in the health center, where you only went unless you had some health issue, on its own counter that they would keep full of condoms. Whenever the health center was open, you could walk in and grab one or two out of the bowl. That's it. No celebration of frequent or risque sexual behavior. No advocacy for or against sexual activity. No judgment. Just the tools for people to be as safe and responsible as possible should they choose to be sexually active. You can ignore the problem or you can join us and solve the problem. Your choice.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
    • sybaris

      It's not peer pressure baby, it's nature.

      The thing is nature doesn't adhere to religion or societal expectations or structure.

      They're gonna do it

      So you have a choice, teach them how to avoid pregnancy or deal with your son or daughter reproducing before they have the means to support their offspring.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:40 | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Repeated studies have shown that the human brain does not fully mature until age 25 or so. This means until this point, the ability to make rational decisions is not as developed as it would be in an adult of 30 or 35. You might not like to think of it this way, but the simple fact is that teenagers, by virtue of the fact that their brains are not fully developed, are impulsive, do not make rational choices, and sometimes do act on instinct. Assuming teenagers can just 'grow up' or 'act like adults and not have sex' is just silly. The fact is, they *will* do it and providing them with the means of avoiding lifelong health consequences due to poor teenage decisions is right and civilized.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:43 | Report abuse |
    • emskadittle

      I think you have forgotten what was like to be teenager and don't say "back in my day" because the term shotgun marriage wasn't invented yesturday

      October 28, 2013 at 19:11 | Report abuse |
    • scott

      "R" says, "some people have a sex drive and some don't". So some people are "animals" who can't control themselves and some people are human beings with something called an intellect who can choose their actions. Hmm. Does it follow then that those who can't control their sex drives are sub-human and should be sterilized so that they don't pass on their less desirable genes? Give me a break.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:56 | Report abuse |
    • Autumn

      If you're going to argue that teens are entirely able to make their own, responsible decisions, then the drinking and driving age requirements should be abolished. The fact is that teens do not make well informed or even sane decisions. They take risks they shouldn't, they go places and do things they know they shouldn't do. Peer pressure is an issue, yes, but cannot be entirely blamed for their risky behavior. Teens are curious, and so many decide that now is the best time to be reckless. When else do you get to try things out and still have people that love you and will help you should something go wrong? Teens are going to do what they want to do. Our best option is to give them the tools and knowledge to be as safe as possible.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:21 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      I want to cut down on disease transmission and unwanted pregnancies. I don't care whether people say 'teens are gonna do it' or not - I just want to reduce problems.

      Sex Ed –> has conclusively been demonstrated to actually LIMIT teen sex activity. NOBODY should find this outcome upsetting!

      Condom Availability –> does not limit sexual activity, but it does not increase it either. And it reduces both pregnancy and disease transmission.

      Basically, I care almost nothing for who I offend - I want what is healthiest and best for American teens. If condoms and sex education cause NO BAD OUTCOMES and actually cause good outcomes, how can ANYONE be against them - unless they are against the American people?

      October 28, 2013 at 20:37 | Report abuse |
    • Bryant Lister

      Over 60% of high school seniors have already had sex...so, most teens do. Abstinence only as a sex education method has failed miserably. Facts just aren't on your side.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:48 | Report abuse |
  2. Frank Fortune

    i'm totally for giving condoms to teens, that makes sense. But come one, if you're considering giving your 12 year old condoms, then some where along the line you failed miserably as a parent...

    October 28, 2013 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cat

      12 is about the age where young people start forming their own morality and definition of right and wrong. They don't always get it right no matter how well they are taught.
      That little fact struck me the day my 12-year-old daughter told me that she had come to realize that what grownups told her to do was not always the right thing – and what they told her NOT to do sometimes was the right thing.
      As adults, we don't always appreciate how difficult and confusing this time is for our children.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:26 | Report abuse |
    • willie

      That's utter nonsense. If you do it when they're 12, you're probably anticipating the need, which would be perfect.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:26 | Report abuse |
    • sybaris

      So because THOSE parents "failed" as you say then let's just watch the train wreck and not do anything to prevent it.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • Chickvet

      I started having condoms in the house about the time the kids turned 12. I wanted them to become very familiar with them BEFORE they needed them sexually. They are housed in the kid's bathroom and are refilled as needed. To me, it is as common sense as supplying them with tampons and toilet paper.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      I would rather take a risk of admitting failure than deal with an HIV+ 12-year old.

      If you are instead more concerned with the embarrassment, then I pity your child.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:38 | Report abuse |
  3. thinquer

    Cervical cancer that sterilizes and kills young women every year, and that is now a cause of throat and head cancer in men, can still be transmitted when using condoms. The virus (HPV) is spread by skin on skin contact on areas of the anatomy not covered by condoms and also by oral sex. It's irresponsible for adults to give kids a false sense of security and approval by giving out condoms. Abstinence is the ONLY complete protection against sti. I personally know many youths who abstain from sex till marriage and enjoy their youth free from the stress of unwanted disease and pregnancy. Abstinence is more practical and necessary for our day then ever. Be a responsible adult and tell them the whole truth.

    October 28, 2013 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      " Be a responsible adult and tell them the whole truth."

      You should practice what you preach.

      I could stop planes from crashing by banning flying but that is unrealistic. True abstinence is the best, but once the child is having intercourse you still need to reach out to them. The abstinence message will lose a little luster once children are sexually active.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
    • MilitaryAF

      Abstinence also does not work all the time. So, a combination approach is more advisable. Teach abstinence & provide protection for when abstinence fails.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:12 | Report abuse |
    • willie

      There's a vaccine to prevent HPV. Have you made sure that all your daughters have been immunized?

      October 28, 2013 at 17:28 | Report abuse |
    • ohhaihowareu

      @MilitaryAF abstinence doesn't always work to prevent STIs and pregnancies? Can you give an example of when it doesn't?

      October 28, 2013 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
    • MilitaryAF

      The HPV shot is now recommended for boys too!

      October 28, 2013 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
    • Tigerflower

      What Willie said, only louder. MAKE SURE YOUR DAUGHTERS GET VACCINATED

      October 28, 2013 at 17:56 | Report abuse |
    • Alex H

      @ohhaihowareu

      How's this for an example? A teenager is only ever taught about abstinence as a form of birth control and often is berated by parents with illogical reasoning like "condoms can't prevent every single pregnancy/disease/bad thing that can happen every time so their use should never be promoted." Hearing this nonsense all the time makes them realize that their parents don't have a clue what they're talking about, and then they make the decision to ignore their parents abstinence advise as just more nonsense. Unfortunately they never learned enough about using birth control / had trouble accessing it, and decided not to use it, and thus got pregnant. And thus, abstinence only education has failed.

      Think this scenario is dumb? Fine, but don't get back with me until you check which states promote abstinence-only sexual education and which ones have the highest rates of teen pregnancy. I don't want to hear any more uninformed drivel.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:56 | Report abuse |
    • MilitaryAF

      @ohhaihowareu 'Just say no' abstinence doesn't always happen. For those times the kid DOESN'T say no, protection is important.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:57 | Report abuse |
    • Knucklehead

      That's great! But just because you have a condom in your pocket doesn't mean you have to use it. Better safe than sorry. And better sorry than pregnant.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
    • Speedster

      How about we give the kids the vaccine for HPV, which just about every doctor recommends nowadays? Vaccines and condoms, could pretty much solve many of the bigger problems of the world right there. Imagine how many unwanted babies would be prevented.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:45 | Report abuse |
    • Duh You

      There's a vaccine for HPV now, including all your cancer scare versions. Teen sex is happening and always will. The research EVIDENCE shows that abstinence education DOES NOT WORK. PERIOD. Sticking your head in the sand and hoping every teen will become abstinent is not doing jack to combat the problem. Instead of bashing kids heads with programs that don't work, FOLLOW THE EVIDENCE. Promote condoms and we will reduce STDs and unwanted/unprepared/unfunded pregnancies.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
  4. jhonny ausemkock

    Forget about the Pediatricians. COMMON SENSE dictates that you give teens condoms! Are you freaking kidding me? Are there still people on the planet who believe their teenage kids aren't going to have sex, regardless of what your rules are? Really? If you're that dumb, perhaps it's more important that YOU start using condoms to protect our gene pool. We don't need any more of you. You are mentally deficient. You're the problem, not the condoms.

    October 28, 2013 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MilitaryAF

      Republicans believe it! 😉

      October 28, 2013 at 17:18 | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Actually, there are a lot of parents who accurately believe that their teens will not sleep with anyone prior to marriage. I was one of the teens who did not and a rather large percentage of my friends who are my age also did not. And, no, my teenage years were not in the 1950s. My teenage years ended a whole 7 years ago. Sure, nearly all teens have a sex drive. That doesn't mean they all lack self control. Just because you failed to teach your child self control doesn't mean everyone has.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
    • James

      The thing is, "they're gonna do it" doesn't mean that ALL of them will "do it", but some of them will, that's just a fact. Go ahead and encourage them to not do it, but have condoms available for those who do.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:29 | Report abuse |
  5. dike

    How about education first... Some of them blowing it up like balloons and play ball with the condoms...

    October 28, 2013 at 16:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle L.

      Yes, but they are educated playing with condoms but still having babies.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:58 | Report abuse |
  6. amama

    i agree with mom who talkesd to son, but was realistic.i have a daughter, 2 sons.i've talked to all 3 about being RESPONSIBLE!about unwanted pregnancy & sti's.i did this from the time they all were around 11, but opened the door earlier if needed.this due to what they were asking because what they heard from peers.i want my kids to be as protected as possible & hope that the decsions they make in their lives r ones they can live with.and so far, they have!

    October 28, 2013 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      You are a realistic parent. It doesn't make your kids wild or different. It doesn't make you a bad parent. No need to question your morals. You have informed children that will hopefully lead to more informed children..

      October 28, 2013 at 16:56 | Report abuse |
  7. lvguest

    Good advice from medical professionals specializing in the care of adolescents! Hopefully, parents will be rational and follow this advice!

    October 28, 2013 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robert Kraus

      If I were a member of the American Academy of Pediatricians . . . I WOULD RESIGN

      October 28, 2013 at 20:18 | Report abuse |
  8. Tony

    This article states pregnancy rates are down. I would like to see the rates on abortion among teens, if STD's are up, sex among teens is just as active as it's always been, so no doubt, so is pregnancy but girls are either getting abortions or using abortion drugs.

    October 28, 2013 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      I'm pro choice. Abortions are fine. Everyone has to make their own choices.

      This reply belongs here.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:01 | Report abuse |
    • Brains

      Tony, in order to get an abortion, you must first be pregnant, which would, in fact, add to the statistic. Getting an abortion does not erase the fact of a pregnancy, it just means that a child was not born. It did not say that birth's from teens were down, they stated that teen pregnancy in general is down.

      As far as STD's and sexual activity, the article never claimed that sexual activity has declined, only that pregnancies from this sexual activity was at an all time low in recent years.

      Abortions and come from unwanted PREGNANCIES, and those pregnancies are still part of the statistic. The number of births among teen moms vs. pregnancies among teens is not the subject of this article. So the amount of abortions in the nation, and at what age the recipients are, is of no consequence.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:11 | Report abuse |
    • Joy

      Statistics on teen pregnancy rates do, in fact, include those teenagers who choose to terminate their pregnancies. Pregnancy rates include births, abortions, and miscarriages. Your statement that abortion is responsible for the decline in the teen pregnancy rate is, therefore, totally erroneous.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:12 | Report abuse |
    • BOT

      Just because STI's are up doesn't mean people are having more sex or more pregnancies.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:13 | Report abuse |
    • Speedster

      Perhaps the use of things like birth control pills, diaphrams, IUD's and plan B's are doing their job! More power to them. I think STD's are a much less significant consequence to sex than an unwanted pregnancy.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:47 | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      @Brains and Joy: The statistic quoted in the article was teen *births*, not teen pregnancies. Pregnancies in which the mother decides to kill the child prior to birth do not result in births and, therefore, are not included in that statistic.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:16 | Report abuse |
    • Bryant Lister

      Are you not aware of birth control options besides abortion?

      October 28, 2013 at 20:52 | Report abuse |
    • good4u

      Thanks, @vbscript2 I guess no one else really read the article- too busy spouting off their opinions. Thanks for some sanity- too bad no one is paying g attention. One more time just in case some one is: THE STATISTICS ARE REFERRING TO TEEN BIRTHS, NOT TO TEEN PREGNANCIES......

      October 28, 2013 at 20:56 | Report abuse |
  9. Thinkergal

    I am 67 years old and taught high school for 30 years. In my opinion, condoms should be handed out freely to teenagers, and I felt that way when my own daughter was a teen.

    October 28, 2013 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Ken Margo

    I'm pro choice. Abortions are fine. Everyone has to make their own choices.

    October 28, 2013 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Adriana

    I am a 21 year old female. I learned about sex in middle school, my parents never talked to me about it. I agree with providing condoms to a young teen for the following reasons: young teens will explore, even if their parents tell them not to have sex at a young age, they will hear and learn about sex at school; celebrities, music movies, etc., talk about sex and drugs nonstop- some children will become curious and try adult things; lastly, there is no harm in providing these condoms to them, if they happen to have sex at least they have a condom to use. Most parents don't want to imagine their little boy or little girl having sex but let's be real, kids now a day’s start very young. There's no denying in that. It would be beneficial for both the parents and the children if the children became knowledgeable of the risks of unsafe sex and the importance of condoms at an early age

    October 28, 2013 at 17:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lou50

      apparently to irresponsible to buy their own!

      October 28, 2013 at 17:50 | Report abuse |
    • Sherri

      My mother could not believe that her little baby boy (my brother) would have sex, even though he was living with his girlfriend. She thought they'd wait till they were married. Yeah right. Some parents are very naïve. And mine were pretty religious. My sister was pregnant at 17 and had to get married. Two of HER daughters had to get married. These far right people just don't want to acknowledge the facts: that teens have sex. In spite of what their parents tell them.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
  12. brian

    The problem is dogmatic theology. Priests are telling the Catholic peasants they will go to hell if they use condoms.

    October 28, 2013 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MilitaryAF

      You are incorrect. A priest will say that sex outside of marriage is a sin. It won't get to the condom part.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:21 | Report abuse |
  13. are122

    Lets just "give" everything to everyone. Save Obama the trouble.

    October 28, 2013 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • really?

      I knew someone would blame Obama. That's your answer to everything. Forget reasoned, rational discussion; just blame someone you're afraid of. Way to go, knee-jerk-responder.

      October 28, 2013 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      If a republican woman misses her period, she would blame Obama.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:22 | Report abuse |
    • James

      I'd sure rather give somebody birth control than pay for their welfare babies and those baby's babies. It's cheap insurance. Yeah I'd prefer they behaved responsibly, but knowing that in the real world a lot of them won't, I view chipping in for their birth control to be a sound investment.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:34 | Report abuse |
  14. Richie

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I definitely remember what it's like to be a kid, and I wasn't that lucky.

    I remember telling a girl at school I had a condom in my book bag, and she was not impressed.

    October 28, 2013 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. john Jacob

    Bareback is the best!

    October 28, 2013 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. oh please

    This idiots dont need condoms.
    Let them catch a disease and die.
    They OUGHT to be keeping it in their pants to begin with and not sticking it in anything that lets them.
    DO NOT GIVE TEENS CONDOMS!!!! LET THEM MESS UP THEIR OWN LIVES because number one, you shouldnt be having sex at your age. Learn the hard way.

    October 28, 2013 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Phil

      Best comment on here.....

      October 28, 2013 at 17:56 | Report abuse |
    • MilitaryAF

      And if you pay taxes, you'll be paying for their free medicaid paid-for care...

      October 28, 2013 at 17:59 | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      @Oh please............If you AND ONLY YOU PAID FOR THESE KIDS, I'd have no problem with your logic. Unfortunately the cost of these children are spread amongst us all. So pull your head out your azz and deal with reality.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:25 | Report abuse |
    • Knucklehead

      Right. And tell them to not scratch a mosquito bite while you're at it.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:40 | Report abuse |
    • Knucklehead

      If only your parents had listened to theirs...

      October 28, 2013 at 18:41 | Report abuse |
    • Sigh

      No. Just no. This is a problem.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:59 | Report abuse |
  17. brian

    " A priest will say that sex outside of marriage is a sin. It won't get to the condom part."

    Tell the Pope that. He came out against birth control. By the way, do priests use a condom when they rape children? Which is the worst "sin", using a condom or raping a child? Maybe one of you Jesuits, in your profound wisdom could answer that theological question.

    October 28, 2013 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Robin

    My son has been sporadically sexually active since he was 15. His school provides condoms at 50 cents each through a vending machine in the bathrooms. Unfortunately, he was also involved with a young "lady" who already had a child and somehow convinced him that not using condoms was important to her (!) I found this out when he came home with a permission slip from the school nurse for STD testing! He's now 17, and lost the crazy girlfriend and is now going out with a "nice" girl. We have built a relationship where I have told him that I will not interfere with his sex life as long as he is honest with me and uses condoms AND that the girl is on another method of birth control. Luckily, the girl's mother is on the same page I am (as was the first girlfriend's mom) and has made sure that her daughter is on birth control. Trying to stop teenagers from being sexually active is a very dangerous game to play. While I wouldn't give my son "permission" to have sex at 15, I was happy that he told me. I went through the roof with the second girlfriend, and now things seem to be going smoothly.

    October 28, 2013 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      Good luck to you. You didn't mention his dad. Does he have an relationship with his father?

      October 28, 2013 at 18:30 | Report abuse |
  19. Greenspam

    Protection doesn't work, as proven by Sarah Palin's teenage pregnant daughter!

    October 28, 2013 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Carla

    as the mother of a 14 year old boy I agree wholeheartedly. I am not ready to become a grandma at age 36! I most certainly would not like to see him with an STD. As far as I know he has not been sexually active but I didn't tell my mother when I first became sexually active at the age of 17.

    October 28, 2013 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dawn

      I never had kids...not a desire, but it is hard to keep kids pure. They want to follow the world's way which is not a good thing.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:36 | Report abuse |
  21. lou50

    Why they to stupid to buy their own. That is what we did before the liberals contaminated government. If they are to stupid to buy their own they probably can't figure out how to open the package or put them on. Guess they will need someone to put it on for them!

    October 28, 2013 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Metlman

      I don't think most teens know it's legal to buy condoms under the age of 18.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      This is not a liberal issue. Sista Sarah Palin's daughter got pregnant. THEY AREN'T LIBERALS.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
    • Bryant Lister

      Liberals started this government around 1776.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:57 | Report abuse |
    • bubba

      . . . not to mention slave owners

      October 29, 2013 at 20:28 | Report abuse |
  22. Nick

    Don't directly give teens condoms, but give them access. Encourage them to abstain for the most effective measure against pregnancy and std's but educate them on how to have safe sex, because as much as some of you are tired of hearing it, yes, teens will have sex. My parents are fairly easy going and they told me that if I wanted to have sex in high school, which I did once, that it was fine as long as I'm not stupid about it. I'm sure many people are like that with their teens, and we should not let ultra conservative parents control the way we teach our kids about sex. We need to provide and educate about birth control and condoms as well as abstinence that way those teens who's parents are more relaxed can be safe in their own way. Now of course one might argue that parents should take this initiative, but lets be real, most parents aren't doctors or sex ed teachers, we pay taxes so that they don't have to buy books and programs to educate their kids about sex, that should be provided by professionals.

    October 28, 2013 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. patriciaange

    Reblogged this on Sex and Relationships.

    October 28, 2013 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Sherri

    Abstinence may be the best thing to prevent disease or pregnancy, but the fact is (and has always been) that teens WILL have sex. I did when a teen, in spite of being brought up in a pretty religious household. Sticking your head in the sand and thinking that they won't, is just nuts. They will. They always have. Would you rather have them use prevention or come home and say 'Mom/Dad, I'm pregnant" or Mom/Dad, my girlfriend is pregnant. I'd rather prevent an unwanted pregnancy and a condom is a pretty cheap way to do it. Not 100% effective, but better than nothing.

    October 28, 2013 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Michael

    I miss the good old days when you only had to remember two letters: VD. Now we have to remember STD, STI, HIV, and HPV.

    October 28, 2013 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. thomaspomy

    your all pretty much morally corrupted and twisted individuals.teen sex is f***ed up and must be prevented.religion happens to be the only answer to this. but alas america has drifted far from such,so yes,condoms are the only answer:( teenagers will be teens, and all us adults are responsibe to attempt to sway their imbalanced thinking......nil to impossible

    October 28, 2013 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      @Thomas phony................Sarah Palin is religious. How did her daughter get knocked up?

      October 28, 2013 at 18:39 | Report abuse |
    • erzhik

      The only reason why you are on this planet is because of sex. And no, God didn't send a bird with you in a bag to your parents. Your dad's penis and the penis's army made you.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:16 | Report abuse |
    • Bryant Lister

      Religious cult doctrine and dogma does not provide a solution this problem. You need something more than fairy tales and imaginary sky daddies to talk to teens about sex. Also, morals don't come from religious cult nonsense...you can't act morally if you're motivated by the fear of some mythical, supernatural deity watching your every move.

      October 28, 2013 at 21:00 | Report abuse |
    • emancipatin

      Atheism hasn't solved the problem either. Religious people can be accused of having morals. Atheism cannot because atheism does NOT have any moral teachings. Atheism cannot provide any teaching on the subject because it has NO teachings.

      History has shown that when people were more religious there were less instances of teen pregnancies or mutant STD's. So it can be said that followers of even a non-existent God were more virtuous. Now that people are less religious and tend to act more like rabbits or atheists, then we have the current situation. It's an interesting empirical evidence.

      October 29, 2013 at 16:49 | Report abuse |
  27. Art Runner

    Man for the first time I actually want to go to the doctor! 😀 XD

    October 28, 2013 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Triz Dog

    Teach kids to pull out and bust on their partner's face. That's what I do.

    October 28, 2013 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Knucklehead

      Some things they just need to learn for themselves... and that won't necessarily prevent pregnancy, or STDs.

      October 28, 2013 at 18:36 | Report abuse |
  29. julnor

    So I assume that the American Academy of Pediatrics will be paying for these "free" condoms, right?

    October 28, 2013 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      It's sad to read so much ignorance. Yes the taxpayer will ultimately foot the bill. Which is cheaper, condoms or children that the parents can't support? The taxpayer pays either way so how DO YOU want YOUR tax dollars to be spent?

      October 28, 2013 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • emancipatin

      Which one is cheaper ? Cas tration or unwanted children ?

      Cut if off !!!

      October 28, 2013 at 20:50 | Report abuse |
  30. sybaris

    Americans are funny and so immature about sex

    This isn't a problem in a lot of other countries.............because they don't have some backwards religious dogma teaching kids to be ashamed of their bodies and that anything to do with sex is nasty. They grow up with an appreciation and understanding of sex which caters to a sense of responsibility.

    October 28, 2013 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. WEEDY

    Another area were our Republican friends stuck in Denial debate the morality of supplying safety devices for our brain damaged youth.. (yes.. all teens are brain damaged, even the ones that are good at hiding it)... Just help get them to age of consent "somehow" using every tool in the bag and get them there disease free, without children and carrying a different set of emotional baggage than the horrible ones a ten second mistake can create for a lifetime. I am sure this will NEVER get passed into the general populace but I gave my son condoms at a very early age and made them available to his friends too... in my case it "worked".. he is an excellent and moral man today living a life of monogamy and mortal work.. Kind of sick of this perpetual sexual aggrandizement from the right... were all of you potty trained so badly that you continue to focus on the sex every one else is having or not having?... get on with other serious matters for a change.

    October 28, 2013 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Morgan

    As parents, we should ask ourselves which conversation we'd rather have with our kids: how and why to use condoms, or what to expect now that they're expecting.

    October 28, 2013 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Dawn

    @Ken LOL that is so true. What do republicans know anyways??? 😉

    October 28, 2013 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Dawn

    Teach the kids to read the bible. That will stop their out of control behavior

    October 28, 2013 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      Sarah Palin is religious. She taught her daughter to read the bible. So how did Bristol get pregnant? Jessie Jackson is a reverend. He quotes the bible! He had a kid outside of his marriage! The catholic church covered up priests MOLESTING CHILDREN. Reading the bible didn't prevent that from happening.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
    • sybaris

      Yeah that's always a good way to control your children.........instill an unnatural fear of an invisible monster that can read their thoughts and if they don't do as it says it will expose them to excruciating pain for eternity.

      Religion and the worship of god(s) is a filthy perverted disease of the mind

      October 28, 2013 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
    • James

      When I was a teen, I remember the girls with the most uptight strict religious parents were usually the most devious of them all.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:38 | Report abuse |
    • Bryant Lister

      Feel free to provide some data that backs up your assertion about reading the bible fairy tales. You do realize there is an awful lot of rape, incest, and other unethical behavior in the bible fairy tales.

      October 28, 2013 at 21:05 | Report abuse |
  35. erzhik

    Can we stop this nonsense as "Kids don't have the drive to have sex". Yes they do, it's been proven a thousand times now. People develop hormones and it's those hormones that tell people it's time to have sex. Same way as animals get into heat cycle. It's a bloody nature. Stop denying it.

    October 28, 2013 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • schoolsub

      Thanks for putting us into the same genus/species as the apes, dogs, cats, swine, cattle, etc.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      @school..................We are a species of animal just like every other species on this planet. The animals are probably offended that we're considered a species. Humans are the only species willing to destroy the only planet we can live on.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:32 | Report abuse |
  36. schoolsub

    I was a teenager in the sixties. My parents told me that if I got a girl pregnant I would have to marry her and my college education would be toast and that I would end up working at menial jobs for the rest of my life. That scared the cr*p out of me and I kept it in my pants. The problem today is that kids don't worry about a college education because it no longer guarantees a good job and kids really don't worry about their futures. They live for the 'here and now.'

    October 28, 2013 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      being a teenager in the sixties is part of your problem. You live in the "past and forgotten" You sound like an old republican. a demographic that is going the way of the dinosaur.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
    • Bryant Lister

      Facts aren't something you're actually familiar with, obviously. College graduates experience a fourth of the unemployment of non-college graduates. So, a college education does make it a lot more likely that a person will get and retain a job.

      October 28, 2013 at 21:07 | Report abuse |
  37. yesmaam

    Schools should also provide private rooms so that the free condoms can be used properly by the students.
    Teachers can also provide private lessons in those rooms to make sure there is no pregnancy or STD.

    October 28, 2013 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Dawn

    @Ken there are families though where it does work!!!

    October 28, 2013 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      The problem is it isn't EVERY FAMILY. You can't ignore the failures to suit your argument.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:34 | Report abuse |
  39. rod

    I grew up n columbus ohio public schools, we new about sex and used every dirty word by 3rd grade, girls were getting pregnant by 6th grade, dare drug program was 4th 5th grade, sex ed didnt start til 7th 8th grade with condoms on bananas. Guess sex ed should started sooner, and condoms handed out by 6th grade! Im die hard republican, but come on wake up, world has changed. I used 100 rubbers the summer between junior and senior year, and busted a few. Hand them out!

    October 28, 2013 at 19:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Dawn

    @Ken yes, but adults need to step up and put their foot down. The world isn't getting better, so why just ignore it and say well it will happen!!! I myself never had kids. No desire for them!!! 🙂

    October 28, 2013 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      Since you don't have kids you don't really have a leg to stand on here. Raising children is not cheap or easy (I know, I have two girls) Not every family is like the waltons or the cosbys. Situations arise and parents try the best they can. Sometimes it works out and some times it don't.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:45 | Report abuse |
    • emancipatin

      The easiest girls are those from families that are not the waltons or the cosby's. If they don't follow any religion, don't go to church, and have no formal education on morality, it's even better. And if the parents themselves are not models of good behavior, then it's even waaaay better. If the parents are rabbits, then so are their kids.

      October 28, 2013 at 21:09 | Report abuse |
  41. emancipatin

    I love it when a plan works. A long time ago girls were respectable. Now their own parents will buy the condom for the guy. Call it freedom, emancipation, or women's rights, or whatever. Free love is the goal and we got it.

    October 28, 2013 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      Girls aren't respectable now?

      October 28, 2013 at 19:47 | Report abuse |
    • emancipatin

      Oh sorry. I didn't mean to offend. A 16-year old who has slept with 100+ guys is perfectly respectable.

      October 28, 2013 at 19:50 | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      What 16 year old girl do you know slept with over 100 guys? What about guys that have slept with a 100 girls. How do you feel about them?

      October 28, 2013 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
    • emancipatin

      They are all respectable people. Call it whatever name you like as long as all people are happy getting free love. That's the goal. Free love.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:01 | Report abuse |
  42. thomaspomy

    @ken morgan,
    there is a BIG difference between religious and devout sincere religious. ones who are real are more moral then irreligious. fact. dont spew on such blindly. i dont know palins daughter so i cannot tell you what happened,but authentic religious folk are highly moral.

    October 28, 2013 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      How can you tell the fake one from the real ones? Is G.W. Bush a real one? He only killed innocent Iraqis that had nothing to do with 9/11. What about Jimmy Swaggert? He sinned. Please tell us your way of knowing who's phony and who's not?

      October 28, 2013 at 19:53 | Report abuse |
    • emancipatin

      Mother Teresa was a pretty good person. So don't mess with her daughter if she had one.
      Bush, the 700 Club, and all the tele-evangelists on TV, that's another matter. They display excess, pride, and dishonesty. Qualities that we love. Therefore their daughters are available for free love.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:19 | Report abuse |
    • Bryant Lister

      The really devout, sincere religious cult members flew planes into the twin towers.

      October 28, 2013 at 21:09 | Report abuse |
    • emancipatin

      @Lister

      The uneducated cannot tell the difference between true followers of a particular faith, versus those who choose to pretend to be of a particular faith.

      October 29, 2013 at 16:32 | Report abuse |
  43. shan22044

    So....
    It reminds me of a line from Malcolm in the Middle. Lois said – "We've got our calender child, our diaphragm child, our condom child and our two abstinence children."

    Yes prevention is the way to deal with this issue of unwanted pregnancy (and abortion), HOWEVER this is only one piece of the puzzle. The solution lies with females who are knowledgeable and have a good doctor who can advise them. There is such a lack of accessible information about the female productive cycle it's shocking. And the new attack on birth control just has me SMH.

    October 28, 2013 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      Why is it just females? Don't the males have some responsibility?

      October 28, 2013 at 19:56 | Report abuse |
    • emancipatin

      Responsibility ? Of course not. What are people gonna think of next ? Morality ?
      too funny

      The girls love it. we aim to please.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:07 | Report abuse |
  44. Trev

    Give them video cameras too. It's a win-win situation!

    October 28, 2013 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Vicky

    I think that the idea of giving our youth is a great one. I personally was not educated on safe sex or sex at all for that matter and as a result I ended up getting pregnant at a young age. If there had been more resources like this I would and condoms were taught how and when to use them, it would not have happened.

    October 28, 2013 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Ulysses

    Well... I guess now that there isn't any stigma anymore for getting pregnant out of wedlock... and the government will help you take care of your baby if you do get pregnant... AND our icons and celebrities celebrate making babies with casual partners or in the lab (because they can afford to)... there isn't much choice left, is there (particularly for the poor)? Give'em the condoms... morning-after pills, abortions... whatever they want at this point. It might even help to distribute free sex toys as that might diminish the need to risk procreation. The HORSE**** is out of the barn.

    October 28, 2013 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      The reason there isn't a stigma for having a baby out of wedlock is because marriage isn't exactly a rousing success with over 50% of marriages ending up in divorce. Republicans are tyring to ban abortions so you are right there isn't much choices for the poor. As far as the gov't helping out. Do you want the children to starve? Very Christian of you.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:05 | Report abuse |
    • emancipatin

      Humans are just like mindless rabbits. They can't control themselves. That's why the government has to step in and take care of them.

      Religion ? Bah. We don't need morals. We don't need good girls. We want baaad girls.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:28 | Report abuse |
  47. me

    With newer medical procedures the teens can be sterilized and reversed when the proper tine is right. The right choice is their religious upbringing, albeit abstinence. There is a reason the Bible says no pre marital sex!!!!

    October 28, 2013 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      I've asked these questions before and have gotten BS answers.

      Children are a gift from god right?
      Why does god let unmarried couples conceive?
      Why does give the give of a child to those that are comitting sin?

      October 28, 2013 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      "Why does god give the gift of a child to those that are comitting sin? Correction.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
    • emancipatin

      Humans just don't understand the concept of freedom and owning up to their responsibility.
      Why do you excuse your bad behavior by stating that God would have stopped you if he exists ?
      If you follow the Bible rules (even without God) on not having sex with 100 guys or girls, then you would have avoided a lot of disease and abortions (which are hard on the human body). It makes a lot of sense. Twelve dumb fishermen figured this out.

      You like free love. Just admit it. Be a man for Chrst's sake. Quit blaming God.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:42 | Report abuse |
    • Bryant Lister

      The bible fairy tales advocate incest, rape and other unethical behaviors...is that what you're advocating the children should follow?!

      October 28, 2013 at 21:12 | Report abuse |
    • emancipatin

      @Lister

      Free condoms and free love are the topics. God has nothing to do with it.

      I realize you're a whacked out atheist who wants to take every opportunity to insult people who you do not agree with. Take your game elsewhere.

      It's very easy to read up on the religions of the world and understand who truly supports the beliefs of a particular religion. This is one way to be educated and not get confused when people claim to be of a particular religion.

      October 29, 2013 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
  48. scott

    Since we should give condoms to kids because, "kids will be kids, let's give them condoms", how about we also create safe houses for them to do drugs (and provide them) so that they won't OD or get HIV from shared syringes. Makes about as much sense as providing condoms, to address their inability to say NO to sex. This is just brain dead. When we remove the risks to protect our kids over telling them what not to do, we are setting them up to fail. Help them yes, but help them first to make good decisions. Why, well, if it's "kids will be kids", just how do we make it safer for them to drive drunk? After all "kids will be kids".

    October 28, 2013 at 20:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Humans are wired to have sex, it's a natural drive, you don't have to teach a person what sex is. We're not wired to do drugs, and the number of teens doing hard drugs is *tiny* compared to those who are sexually active.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:43 | Report abuse |
    • Gordon

      I bet you'd also encourage parents to punish their kids if they found out they were masturbating, wouldn't you?

      October 29, 2013 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
  49. gclure

    Providing teens with condoms and sex education is out of the question with today's new GOP. They would rather humans reproduce like rabbits and cover the earth than tell a teenager what semen is.

    October 28, 2013 at 20:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • devin

      I'm trying to decide if that statement is naive or simply idiotic. I'm guessing the latter.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:24 | Report abuse |
  50. FT

    Some 3,000 years ago humans didn't live to 30 years of age. Sex and reproduction had to happen in the teen years or humans would disappear. It was so much the norm that Jews had their coming of age at 13. The fact that we live to 80 years old today it doesn't mean that we are biologically any different than humans from the time of the Old Testament. Teens will have sex, and I guess the Bible encouraged it.

    October 28, 2013 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edwin

      You are not really correct. 30,000 years ago we didn't live to 30 years, but 3,000 years ago we did - often to 40 or 50 or more. Of course, infant and child mortality rates were astronomical, but people did not tend to die as young adults nearly as often as you suggest.

      That said, most people did have sex in their teens, and nobody cared. It was the norm.

      October 28, 2013 at 20:42 | Report abuse |
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