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 (1,189 Responses)
  1. Rodney DC

    I'm 23. Still a Virgin. Best way to avert sexual activity is to have parents teach BOY'S and GIRLS not MEN and WOMEN not to be having sex. That line of 'oh they love me, they told me so' is sooo useless. I have a 13 year old sister and she already said she's not waiting until she old (before 20 is her old). So the next couple of years should be interesting.

    October 28, 2013 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katherine

      Everyone is different. Some people are receptive to messages about abstinence, others are not. It's just the way of life. Best to be safe rather than sorry.

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

      "boys" (no apostrophe)

      October 28, 2013 at 20:56 | Report abuse |
    • StormySynapse

      Only in America can people complain that teen pregnancy is a problem then retort when condoms are provided. Maybe some folks actually like the problem more than the cure.

      October 28, 2013 at 21:43 | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      23 and a virgin? And you say it's by CHOICE?
      Sure it is....suuuuuree it is.

      October 29, 2013 at 11:18 | Report abuse |
    • MarylandBill

      FredEvil, believe it or not, there are plenty of attractive young men and women who have resisted the cultural tug to have sex outside a stable relationship (and no relationship in High School is stable).

      October 29, 2013 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • UriNation

      We live in a "if it feels food, do it" society. Too bad there are not more like you.

      October 29, 2013 at 22:51 | Report abuse |
    • Jaime

      Excellent. I don't know what's wrong with our world; people who are not ready for the consequences of sex should not have sex. Isn't that simple enough?

      October 30, 2013 at 01:39 | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      Abstinence is great for some, not for others. Actually having a comprehensive sex education and access to contraception will do wonders to help reduce teen pregnancy.

      October 30, 2013 at 04:09 | Report abuse |
  2. Chien

    These doctors should be doctors for adults, not pediatric.

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

      Why? Do you think children don't deserve doctors that have common sense? Or do you think only those that cower to religious cult dogma should be doctors to children?

      October 28, 2013 at 20:44 | Report abuse |
    • Debate me

      Bryant. Uh, define 'common sense' and 'children'.

      October 28, 2013 at 21:42 | Report abuse |
  3. Jim, Charlotte

    This just in, we all have genitals. And considering we are free to use them as we wish since they are our property it makes sense to use them responsibly. Condoms are responsible, enough said.

    October 28, 2013 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Debate me

      This just in also: some people have genitals that want to hurt others... some pepole have minds that come to different conclusions than you... some people prefer random strangers talking about sex to their children... I could go on and on like this. Your 'news just in: some people...' defense fails miserably.

      October 28, 2013 at 21:00 | Report abuse |
  4. Jennifer

    It's about time!!!!!!!!!!!!! Condoms are better than an unwanted teenage pregnancy ANY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 28, 2013 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Debate me

      Have you made any unwarrented assumptions, Jennifer?

      October 28, 2013 at 21:05 | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      No, but you have, you hope kids will listen to your logic, rather than their hormones.
      There're approximately 10,000 generations that demonstrate your hopes will fall on a large percentage of deaf ears.

      October 29, 2013 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
  5. L

    I am not a US citizen. Reading the comments (on this article, and on many others before), I get the feeling sex is something dirty in the general American mind, and I really, really long to understand why that is.
    I come from a Western country, and abstinence is not what they preach here. I believe statistics say that girls have their "first time" -on average- some time before, and boys some time after their 16th birthday. And its not a problem for anyone. Sex ed starts in elementary here (how does a baby develop in one year, how do we differ down there the next, how does the baby actually get in there a year later – it IS tailored for children, they might giggle upon collecting different terms for "down there", but then thats it -). I don't know know how that is different in the US, but also in early elementary, children will generally ask be themselves how babys are made, and I believe the stork-story is outdated nowadays. Parents will explain in a childlike manner, but they will not lie. Around the time when the first boy/girlfriend is to be expected, our parents take us aside and go over the whole thing again, they, like in school in 8th grade or so, will again talk to us about STIs – but, MOST importantly, they tell us to take our time, make sure we are ready and don't let ourselfes be pressured. We learn that sex is an important, fun and enjoyable part for life, only if we do it, we have to protect ourselfs. For us, sex is nothing strange that has to be covered up and dealt with in secrecy. And I am so freaking glad about it – sorry about the emotion 😉 In case the reader wonders, now, teen pregnancy is not really an issue here.
    In case you are still reading, let me also add how I personally feel about abstinence. I have a younger sister, who is the age I had my first time with. What I wish for her to do is to be really sure when she has it, the boy is worth it. If she told me she would like to wait until marriage, that would be okay for me, of course, its not like anyone is _expecting_ anything. If you now say "Well, if you let her run free, she won't wait" – maybe, but doesn't that show that it belongs to the process of growing up, at least somewhere along the way? Whenever one feels ready – I have a friend who was yeeeaars later than the statistic, and noone looked at her strange. Sex is an intimate thing, of course, but I believe for finding the right partner, and for building a strong, close relationship, it is important to know what you want. This is probably the argument most pro-abstinence readers here will absolutely refute, but I am only trying to give an insight in a different culture here, mind you. I am trying to imagine what it would be like to have grown up in the US, but I can't. Talking among friends, we all feel it is good this way. Never have I talked to anyone who considered staying abstinent. I guess we feel sex is natural, you only have to be careful.
    What I want to say is, I fully understand parent's wishes to protect their children – but I would wish for the whole society to relax, embrace it as what it is – and then decide if each individual wants to wait.
    Come to think of it, maybe I should write my bachelor thesis about this topic...
    Have a good night.

    October 28, 2013 at 20:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • eduardo

      Good luck with your thesis. I think you are going to make it!

      October 28, 2013 at 21:03 | Report abuse |
    • Debate me

      Dude, watch American TV. Your failed by the time your first two sentences expired.

      October 28, 2013 at 21:06 | Report abuse |
    • smh

      Because the pinched up shrivelled hateful descendents of Puritans still infest the nation.
      And they breed like rats.
      And they want to force everyone else to live as miserable an existence as they do.

      October 28, 2013 at 21:23 | Report abuse |
    • L

      Thank you for your concern, @debate me. Don't worry, I won't be writing my thesis in the middle of the night on a cell phone. Like the previous comment.

      Or, could it be that you deliberately exaggerated to make me feel bad, because that's just what many people in the comments section do...?

      October 29, 2013 at 02:46 | Report abuse |
    • LeRoy_Was_Here

      Woody Allen: Sex is dirty only if it's done right.

      October 29, 2013 at 10:15 | Report abuse |
    • u_r_right

      only in american culture can you see brains splattered on TV and no one says a thing but if a condom is handed out, or Janet Jackson has a nip slip the world gets turned upside down..

      October 29, 2013 at 11:06 | Report abuse |
    • donna

      I disagree that the decision to have sex should be based on whether or not the boy is "worth it." That goes along with characterizations like "giving it up." Sex should be mutually beneficial- even for a girl, and even her first time. If you view it as a sacrifice, or as a loss of something, then you are viewing it as a negative act, and that means you shouldn't be doing it.

      I think that supports your original complaint actually, that Americans see sex as something dirty. You make it sound like it's something you should do just because you want to hold on to a guy.

      I would want my daughter to have sex when she feels she's ready, not because she found a guy she really likes and she thinks he's "worth" her sacrificing some part of her.

      October 29, 2013 at 16:27 | Report abuse |
  6. VeeEss

    Many, if not most, kids don't like condoms. The responsible kids either won't have sex or might use them, but those kids aren't always the ones who really need to use them. The ones who should be using them, won't.

    And the so-called HPV vaccine hasn't helped things at all. It only covers 70% of HPV strains, but many kids who have the vaccine assume they are covered for *all* strains. They also think they're covered for HIV. I've talked with kids who say things like, "Oh, I had that vaccine a while ago and now I'm protected against all STDs." Wrong.

    So much misinformation out there. And so much wrong-guessing by 'experts' who think they know how teens think and what they'll do. As the mom of six kids (18-35) who really talk to me about everything (and their friends also talk to me as well), some of these experts need to get down from their ivory towers. They don't know kids.

    October 28, 2013 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katherine

      They don't know YOU and your kids. Just because you and your kids think in one way does not mean that all kids think in the same way. You aren't the only one who is aware of mis-information. No matter which way you swing on the subject, anyone is equally as able to garner mis-information as you are, VeeEss. You can't expect that everyone in this world is going to think in the same way as you do.

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

      You know what's stupid? Quoting statistics when it comes to sex. God you people want to control EVERYTHING!!!

      October 28, 2013 at 21:07 | Report abuse |
    • VeeEss

      Katharine–I wasn't trying to imply that I know everything. I'm sorry it came off that way. I just don't want people thinking that handing out condoms will necessarily mean the kids will actually use them. I don't have the answers, but neither do "pediatricians" and others. I don't have strong opinions on the subject, but I do want kids to be safe from STDs.

      October 28, 2013 at 21:51 | Report abuse |
    • Mags

      Those misconceptions are exactly why we need to be talking to teens. Teach them about the consequences of not being safe so that when they do make the decision to have sex, they do so safely!

      October 28, 2013 at 23:05 | Report abuse |
    • emma

      Yes it's true that some teens still won't use condoms even if they are free. However, the chance some people may not use the condoms isn't a valid reason against offering the condoms. STIs & teen pregnancy are serious problems that need to be addressed and condoms are currently the best way to do so.

      Not offering condoms at all because there's a chance somebody would refuse to use them would be like every surgeon refusing to operate on patients because there's a chance the patient may not survive. Yes, there's a chance everything may not work out perfectly but would anyone claim that's a valid reason not to at least try?

      October 29, 2013 at 02:07 | Report abuse |
  7. John Sharp

    Remember the old adage kids: A condom a day keeps STD and the baby away!

    October 28, 2013 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. eduardo

    Give them away for Halloween!! Instead of candy:)

    October 28, 2013 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. eduardo

    How can parents who hadalot of sex at their early ages teach their kids to stay away from sin? Oh! That's because they became religious ..come on guys, don't be so hipocrit... Educate them and let your kids make their own decisions as you did with your life. And yes, condoms are better than early pregnacy and std...

    October 28, 2013 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Debate me

      I don't usually use insults, Ed, but you are beyond dense, from the looks of it.

      October 28, 2013 at 21:09 | Report abuse |
  10. Noon

    The same states that are up in arms about giving kids condoms and teaching contraception are also the very same states with the largest amount of teen pregnancies and high school graduation rates.

    October 28, 2013 at 21:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Noon

      Sorry, meant to say WORST high school graduation rates.

      October 28, 2013 at 21:07 | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      So very true! Abstinence only states have the highest rates of teen pregnancies and STDs. That should tell you something! Teens talk to me as well, and you'd be surprised how little some of them know. Ignorance doesn't equal safety.

      October 28, 2013 at 23:47 | Report abuse |
  11. Ostritch time, pretend that teens will not have sex

    Its really simple humans have been having sex for hundred of thousands of years and that will not stop. So either boys will be given condoms or girls will get pregnant. A real simple choice.

    As for the HPV vaccine, another easy choice. Both boys and girls get the vaccine or risk getting cancer. I know that the vaccine is not perfect, but some protection from cancer is better than none. So you can pretend that your child will not be sexual or you can accept that sex is innate to humans. The choice is your. If you decide against the HPV vaccine and your child get cancer, what will you say?

    October 28, 2013 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • VeeEss

      I am *not* saying my kid won't get cancer, and I'm not saying my kid won't be sexually active (my kids, as I mentioned, range in age from 18-35. Most ARE "active". And at least one does have HPV). I *am* saying that it's a crappy vaccination rushed on the market, aided by a certain governor who tried to get it mandatory in his state until that government realized he was part owner of the company who made it.

      I really hope that handing out condoms will mean that kids will use them (though, as everyone knows, even condoms aren't 100% effective against AIDS and pregnancy). The schools gave condoms out in my own kids' schools, and the students loved blowing up the condoms and treating them balloons. The kids thought it was cool to carry condoms, but most of the students didn't want to use them.

      October 28, 2013 at 22:47 | Report abuse |
    • Ostritch time, pretend that teens will not have sex

      VeeEss – condoms are not going to work all the time but at least some kids will use them. So the alternative is to say that condoms are being used by some kids as balloons because they are not "cool"? Better some being used than none being used. Just look in cars and see the seat belts that are not being used but few would say that seat belts should not be in cars. Some is better than none.

      October 29, 2013 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
  12. Dusty Johnson

    This is like the old childs' book – If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. But if you give a teenager access to these weapons, they will use them, trust me.

    October 28, 2013 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mags

      You are comparing condoms to weapons? And that just because a teen has a condom they are going to have sex? Teens (and adults) are having sex ANYWAY! Giving a teen a condom is not telling them that they HAVE to go out and have sex.

      October 28, 2013 at 23:09 | Report abuse |
    • LaLunaUnita

      The numbers don't lie: 47.4% – almost half of teens – reported having sex at least once in their lifetimes as of 2011. They're already using their "weapons". Here's the thing: how many of them experimented because they were curious? How many felt that sex was such a mystery and felt the need to find out more, but then also found that parents and teachers were not available sources of this information? They went to their peers and experimented to learn more. Teach kids what sex is, and how to protect themselves, and the mystery, novelty, and excitement goes away. Keep the mystery of sex locked up like a box, and they'll most certainly get curious enough to go through with intercourse, if only to find out what's so great and so terrible about it. I certainly will not encourage my kid to be sexually active, but I will make sure that my kid knows exactly what prophylactic options are available, because I don't want my kid to suffer through STIs or become a parent at an early age due to immature mistakes.

      October 29, 2013 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
    • Ivan S

      This may come as a complete shock, but sex is a natural biological function, hard wired into our brains.

      October 29, 2013 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • gladr

      Your analogy is wrong. The cookie is sex.

      October 31, 2013 at 19:53 | Report abuse |
  13. jp

    condoms make the baby jesus cry.

    October 28, 2013 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CommenTator

      Laughed so hard my bible fell of my lap!

      October 29, 2013 at 14:29 | Report abuse |
  14. Sonu

    I favor this act of serving condoms to teens. At least they are going to have condoms in their pockets whenever they needed. If it is made expensive in market, they are not going to buy it and will be victims of STI diseases, and definitely UNHEALTHY pregnancy rate will increase. Especially, it will effect on teens of low to medium economic families..!

    October 28, 2013 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. jp

    You see, if you believe a spirit from the sky can impregnate a virgin and that virgin, in turn, gives birth to a baby who is in fact both the father and the son, you ain't gonna believe in using condoms. Because what's the sense of condoms if a spirit can impregnate you willy nilly?

    October 28, 2013 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mk

      Too funny, jp.

      October 29, 2013 at 08:38 | Report abuse |
    • Yawat

      you speak like the devil himself, you must be one of the fallen or may be a 33degree..

      October 29, 2013 at 23:22 | Report abuse |
  16. Sarah

    Of course...
    In 2013, this answer should be natural...
    More condoms and sex ed would solve a lot!!!!

    October 28, 2013 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. maggie

    The main obstacle to getting sexually active kids to wear condoms is that society has to be very, very pro-active. You can give free vasectomies and that will stop pregnancy but not std's.....from a public health perspective, condoms should be very aggressively marketed to teens and young adults and given out for free.

    October 28, 2013 at 23:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DJ

      Wrong. The main obstacle to getting sexually active kids to wear condoms is sensitivity. If you want them to use condoms, stop removing 2/3 of their sexually sensitive nerve endings and leaving nothing much more than friction sensors which are undone with the use of a condom.

      October 29, 2013 at 09:04 | Report abuse |
  18. blue rabbit

    What are they thinking!? This is pretty much encouraging sex! Plus, condoms aren't fool proof in preventing sexually transmitted diseases.

    October 29, 2013 at 00:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mk

      Soooo...instead of encouraging birth control, we should teach kids to just not have sex and they won't? Why hasn't anyone thought of that?

      October 29, 2013 at 08:42 | Report abuse |
    • JLS639

      They are thinking that after decades of study, in every population in every nation including American teens providing condoms does not increase the likelihood of sex.

      October 29, 2013 at 09:16 | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      If you read the article, studies actually indicate that providing condoms and education do not increase sexual activity, and in fact sometimes decreases it because they are educated. And while it is true that condoms are not 100% effective, they are very highly effective. So, it is a win-win situation, except for to people that just can't stand the idea that people actually have sex and think that hiding it will solve something. In other words, idiots like you.

      October 29, 2013 at 11:36 | Report abuse |
  19. I'd rather have kids be safe than "protected" from sex.

    I understand why people want to limit the understanding of sex for kids, but they're going to find out, and they're going to experiment, and it wouldn't be good if they had children when they ARE children. I'd rather prevent abortions.

    October 29, 2013 at 01:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. talluluah

    "When used consistently and correctly, male latex condoms reduce the risk of pregnancy and many STIs, including HIV."


    October 29, 2013 at 08:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      That's a joke right? You stop being a virgin after the first time. And, believe it or not, some teenagers have multiple partners. Duh! LOL.

      October 29, 2013 at 11:38 | Report abuse |
    • Brains

      HIV can be spread through druge use and needles as well. Even from mother to child in pregnancy and birth. And not all teens' are vrigins – which is exactly what this article is about. HIV is just as easily spread as every other disease. And, in fact, can be spread through oral sex as well. Leaving the recipient STILL a virgin.

      October 30, 2013 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
    • gladr

      Oh, did you think you can only get HIV from having unprotected sex? How uneducated of you. Ever hear of IV drug use?

      October 31, 2013 at 19:47 | Report abuse |
  21. annemarie

    The article says, "Although abstinence of sexual activity is the most effective method for prevention of pregnancy and STIs (sexually transmitted infections), ..." How much is being done to promote "the most effective method of prevention"?

    October 29, 2013 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GatorK

      Annemarie, PLENTY of abstinence only education is provided around the country. The problem is that it simply does not work. Yes, abstinence is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy and STIs; however, multiple studies have proven that abstinence only education is not effective. Just take a look at the states that promote abstinence only education: they are generally the states with the highest teenage pregnancy rates. Teens are going to be sexually active. The key is arming them with the knowledge and resources to stay safe.

      October 29, 2013 at 12:28 | Report abuse |
    • Ivan S

      Considering the failure rate? Far more than should be done.
      If telling people no was effective, we'd have no smokers, no alcohol problems, no drug issues, no bullying and no teen pregnancies.

      Time to face reality, rather than dictate policy from our imaginary worlds

      October 29, 2013 at 15:54 | Report abuse |
    • what1ever

      Abstinence education is one of Africa's biggest problems. Women are taught to abstain from sex, which in most cases they do. Then they have unprotected sexual intercourse with their spouses, not knowing about their options. Then they get AIDS from their spouses who cheat on them regularly.

      October 29, 2013 at 16:07 | Report abuse |
  22. mom of 4

    NO. Teach kids the importance of SELF CONTROL. It will not only help them with their sexual health, it will help them in all areas of their life. Any child learning the importance of self control will understand that you need to keep your pants up, your mouth shut and don't gossip, not to use credit cards foolishly, not to over eat, etc. Self control is not taught today, and the evidence is clear by the outrageous personal debt on credit cards, obesity, the ridiculous use of profanity and the high rate of STD's.

    Parents, teachers, doctors, mentors, pastors, etc., all need to teach kids SELF CONTROL in EVERY area of their lives. That is a guarantee of wisdom and not the foolishness that has permeated our society.

    October 29, 2013 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • annemarie

      Dear Mom of 4, If you are looking for a role model for your children there is a lovely – no, make that a "gorgeous" one: Megan Young who was just named Miss World. In an interview she said, Asked about contraception, she added that, “I don't engage in stuff like that,” going on to say she believes that “sex is for marriage” and “should be with your partner for life.”
      “I'm actually against divorce,” she added, “because I've seen that in my family. So I think that if you marry someone, that should be the person you should be with forever, through sickness and health, through good or through bad.”
      When asked how a single woman as “gorgeous” as herself could remain abstinent, Young replied with a laugh, “you just say no, that’s it.”
      “If they try to push you, then you step away because you know that that person doesn’t value you, doesn’t value the relationship as much.”
      She said that a gentleman would not pressure a woman into premarital sex in the first place, while at the same time recognizing that abstaining from sex before marriage takes character.
      “If the guy is willing to sacrifice that,” she said, “then that means a lot.”

      You can read a report of the interview here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/beauty-queen-promotes-morality-in-recent-interview/
      May your children know how much they are valued!

      October 29, 2013 at 13:20 | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      No one is against teaching kids self control. Unfortunately it doesn't work for ALL kids. We all know you can go to prison for crime, yet crimes happen everyday. Not every kid has an idea environment to grow up in to be taught self control. You have to have a plan for those that don't stay on the straight and narrow path.

      October 29, 2013 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
    • what1ever

      It's too bad that mom of 4 clearly isn't intelligent enough to have any kids at all.

      October 29, 2013 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
  23. Skelter

    Abstinence only programs are not without their psychological side effects. The older a person gets the more they have to fight their urges. The have to program themselves into abstinence. When they get married they just expect everything to work psychologically but in reality they have to deprogram themselves. Bits of the old program still exist even into middle age. It causes sexual hangups and if it is real bad, dysfunctions. No I am not advocating the removal of all abstinence teaching and I am not saying that 12 year olds should go out and shag. Instead how about some redirection? Start with responsibility and maturity. We teach this with driving and with drinking. BTW in my opinion, I think forbidding and/or restricting contraception teaches irresponsibility. But that's my two cents worth.

    On another note, I am a bit confused about something. I don't understand why it's a no brainier to put your daughter (and if it were medically possible, your son) on birth control drugs? Am I missing something here? Is it medically unwise to do this? Why do parents worry so much about their children producing babies but don't do the obvious to try to prevent it?

    October 29, 2013 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Skelter

      Correction: why it's not a no brainer.

      October 29, 2013 at 11:04 | Report abuse |
    • annemarie

      If abstinence doesn't work and has serious psychological side effects, then it seems to me that nature did a poor job of making human beings. It seems that what is best for us physically is bad for us psychologically. Something doesn't fit, and since I have a high regard for science, I would tend to follow what works physically. I don't think artificial means are a good solution. I believe in working with nature, not against it. Can someone suggest a holistic solution? Thank you all!

      October 29, 2013 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
    • annemarie

      Dear Skelter, You asked if it is medically unwise to put one's daughter on birth-control drugs. Here are two links to information on the risks of various kinds of cancer for women who use oral contraceptives. As you can read in the second website, there is a higher risk of breast cancer for them, and "The risk was highest for women who started using oral contraceptives as teenagers." As a woman, I would certainly not advise a teenager to take this road. Thank you.

      October 29, 2013 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
  24. Peter Wexler

    Sexual attraction is pretty hard to ignore during the hottest years of one's life – the teenage years. Diseases are no less prevalent, today, than they were in 1982, when the AIDS virus went nuclear. Pregnancy is no less likely, today.

    Yet, condoms were put behind glass, in Orange County, CA, drugstores, during the last seven or so years, with their purchase being barred for those in their minority years. WHY?

    October 29, 2013 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. NeoKat1

    This is just another way of inviting teens to become sexually active and irresponsible. Sex in America is seen as a pleasure that they must have when it should be reserved for intimacy between someone you really love and are committed to and plan to have a family with. When you misuse sex society suffers the consequences.

    October 29, 2013 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • what1ever

      Well there you have it guys. NeoKat1 has now defined sex for everyone else in the world. Thank you, oh wise one for preventing us from making our own decisions. You are so great and wise and superior to the rest of us. Let's all take a minute and think about how lucky we are to have NeoKat1 here to guide us to the light. It's too bad that the medical community can't see her wisdom and came to a completely different conclusion.

      October 29, 2013 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • gladr

      You know, the sex drive is one of the strongest drives in humans....and this drive is not connected to the part of your brain where "love" resides and plans for commitment dwell. Did you read the part where it says providing condoms does not increase sexual activity....I bet you just ignored that part because it doesn't fit with your "facts".

      October 31, 2013 at 19:51 | Report abuse |
  26. Ivan S

    An old acquintance of mine put it best:

    Young people are going to have sex. If you don't give them access to condoms, they're going to have sex without condoms.

    October 29, 2013 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. what1ever

    To me this is like doctors releasing an announcement that teenagers should have access to food, otherwise it could be detrimental to their health.

    October 29, 2013 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. what1ever

    There should be a simple test for everyone. You should ask people "do you support abstinence only education?" If the person says yes they should be permanently removed from the voting rolls, any educational degree or diploma they have should be deleted from the records and they should have their nuts or ovaries cut out. This will be done for the good of the human race and the country.

    October 29, 2013 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. vikingwoman

    It's hard to fathom that in the 21st century we're even having this discussion & that some people insist on inserting morality/religion as an anwer! We're a species programmed for s.ex, like all creatures on the planet, even the a/mono-se.xuals! Se.xuality is the norm & in humans it's not dependent on being in heat or rut, like animals! Therefore it's dependent on information & choice! I'm glad the medical community is stepping up again, because too many parents are depending on God to inform their teens! By the way, kids will have s.ex & it's not a new developement! In my high school there we're 5 pregnant classmates in the yrs '72-'74! I constanly heard of kids hooking up on school premises! But, because I was well informed by my parents & se.x ed class I waited 'til adulhood (19) to experience the supposedly 'forbidden' aspects of my body! It was a Well Informed Choice & there lies the crux!!

    October 29, 2013 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Nino

    Knowledge is the answer. Do you know why in Europe teen pregnancy is very low? Because sex isn't taboo, people talk about it and kids know about it.........and they use condoms!!!

    October 29, 2013 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Myron B. Pitts

    In a society where one group cares only about stopping abortions and another group is about safe sex and comprehensive sex ed, it should be entirely uncontroversial on whether to hand out condoms. It's a solution that should satisfy both of the group's concerns. I say kids should get access to free condoms starting in middle school, or sooner. Our prudishness is so backward. Uptight about sex; liberal-minded about guns.

    October 29, 2013 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. concerned mother

    I have had "the talk" with my son several times. It has always been an open subject in our house, never a taboo subject to talk about, but not common everyday dinner time talk either. He is now in his late teens, we our Christians and he has always been taught to wait till after marriage. However, we our not naive and know "teens will be teens" as we once were. Therefore, I buy condoms for him to reduce his risk of getting an STD or getting a girl pregnant. Other people may disagree, but be practical and smart people. If your teen is going to have sex, wouldn't it be better if they were prepared rather than dealing with responsibility and maybe heartache at such a young age? Just something to think about.

    October 30, 2013 at 02:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Mike Hunt

    i've noticed, somewhat anecdotally, that pretty much everyone who is against teens having access to condoms also flaunts their religious beliefs. if you left your beliefs out of policy, we'd have a much better world.

    October 31, 2013 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
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  35. UnKnown

    Hey Everyone! I'm 16 years old and I'm a senior in homeschooling. I have been in public schooling my whole life. This is my first year in homeschooling. Comeing from a teenagers point of view. Sex is everywhere. It's 50 / 50. The guys fault and the girls. But sometimes it's the guys that influences us, telling us it feels good, or that there is no condoms around because they don't want to buy them (because it's embarrassing to some teens), or others are under the influence of drugs. Us teens think we are unstoppable. Some of us have to go through having the scare of possibly being pregnant for us to realize.... "Oh my gosh! I don't have a job! I'm in high school! I might have a kid!" .... It shouldn't have to come to that though. Some of us NEED that education to understand the risks of having sex..... Also to be giving the things that will protect us..... Condoms, birth control, or anything else that might protect us.

    November 1, 2013 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
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    My name is Mrs lucia from united kingdom i got married at the age of 30 i have only one child and i was living happily .After 5 year of my marriage my husband behavior became so strange and i don't really understand what was going on, he packed out of the house to another woman i love him so much that i never dreams of losing him, i try my possible best to make sure that my husband get back to me but all to no avail i cry seeking for help i discussed it with my best friend and she promise to help me he told me of a man called priest Aluta he is a very great man and a real man that can be trusted and there is nothing concerning love issues he cannot do that is why they call him the great doctor. I contacted him And i told him everything that happen all he told me is that i should not worry that all my problems will be solved immediately. He told me what to do to get my husband back and i did, he said after 4 days my husband will come back to me and start begging, it really happen i was very surprise and very happy our relationship was now very tight and we both live happily again.So my advice for you now is to contact this same email address traditionalspellhospital (@)gmail .com if you are in any kind of situation concerning love issues and any other things that give you problems contact him.

    December 24, 2013 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
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  39. Pami

    a simple YEAH Is what i am thinking. MORE MORE MORE!! Support sex education and choices.. and help them make them in ADVANCE... and be prepared.

    July 1, 2014 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
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  42. Taurie

    Of course high schooler’s will have sex if they want to have sex, but is giving them access to condoms such a bad idea? According to Guttmacher Policy, a research magazine, it stated that in 2010 that 6% adolescents became pregnant. That is 51% less than the number of teens that got pregnant in 1990. This decrease did not just happen because teens stopped having sex, this happened because teens were more aware of the consequences of sex and had more access to condoms in schools. Teens don’t want to admit to adults that they are having sex and they do that when they go into a store and buy condoms. If an entire health class takes a condom, then teens that are having sex are more likely to take a condom as well. The number of teens having sex has increased by about 10% since the 1990s according to The Columbus Dispatch.
    I believe that giving teen’s access to condoms is a good idea. Yes it will increase the number of teens having sex, but in will also decrease the amount of teenage pregnancies.

    March 4, 2015 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
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