Jay GradnerAn increasing problem on high school campuses and one of the mainconcerns of parents, school officials, and the government is teenage sex. It ison the rise, and they are worried that it may get out of control. Teenage sexcan be a problem because of the pregnancies and many diseases it can cause. Onesolution that has been proposed is to distribute condoms in public high schools.
This is a topic that is controversial and has been hotly debated for years.There are people who think it would be a good idea and those who think it mayworsen the problem rather than solve it.The reason that people want to distribute condoms in high school is totry to prevent teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and (I separatethis from the category of STD’s because it is so widespread, deadly, important,frightening, etc.) H.
I.V infection. The theory is that if condoms were givenout or made available at high schools, then the students would be more inclinedto use them.
They would have them or be able to get them if they need to usethem. This would cut down on unprotected sexual intercourse and prevent thepregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and H.I.V. infection.
If a studentwas at a party and decided, on the spur of the moment, to engage in sexualintercourse, then it is more likely that they have a condom if schoolsdistributed them. This sounds good in theory, but will it really work? Ifschools distribute condoms, shouldn’t they also teach the students how to usethem and teach them a little about sex (sex education in schools, anothercontroversial topic)?The world certainly needs to try to decrease teenage pregnancies, STD’s,and H.I.V. infection. In an article from the New York Times, the United Nationsreports that women, especially sexually active teenage girls, have a higher rateof H.I.
V. infection than men in that age group. It cited the slow developmentof mucous membranes as the reason for the lower protection against infection andincreased risk of getting H.I.V. It mentions that in Rwanda, 25% of pregnantwomen are infected, and 17% of those who have teenage sex will be infected.
Those numbers are staggering. In the United States, if even 5% of teenagers whohave had sex become infected with H.I.V., then that would translate to hundredsof thousands of teenagers. This shows that H.
I.V. could be a bigger problemthan it already is if nothing is done about it, and some people think thatdistributing condoms would help keep the problem from getting worse.Condom distribution might work, but what if the students do not usethem? Also, distributing condoms might start a student to become sexually activethat otherwise would not be. Wouldn’t condom distribution then increase teenagesex thus increasing the chance of getting pregnant and contracting H.I.
V.? Oncethis student becomes sexually active he or she might not use a condom every timethey have sex. Even if they do, condoms are not 100% effective.
I repeat-CONDOMS ARE NOT 100% EFFECTIVE. They are only 92-96% effective againstpregnancy and not at all effective for blocking H.I.
V. transmission. Wouldn’t abetter option then be to control teenage sex?Making love is not something to play around with. When people decide todo it, they make a life and death decision. If they contract an STD they risktheir life for death.
And if a woman gets pregnant, the woman is not guaranteedto live through it (although chances are that she will), and the child is notguaranteed to live for many reasons including abortion.Shouldn’t steps be taken to educate teenagers about what they aregetting into before schools start handing out condoms? This would be a betterway to prevent the spread of pregnancies and of STD’s and H.I.V. If teenagers donot have sex to begin with the risk of infection goes down because, like I said,condoms are not 100% effective. If they know more about the risks, then theycan make an educated decision about sex, and then it will be very likely thatthey will use a condom if they decide to have sex. This is one alternative andmight be a better policy to implement than condom distribution.I think that starting in junior high school, students should learn aboutpregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and H.
I.V. There would be a course ora section of a course dedicated to health where students learn about thesesubjects.
Then in high school, students should do a more in-depth study of theconsequences of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. This could be doneas a part of a biology course or as a research project in an English class.Finally, students should learn about H.
I.V. and AIDS, how it affects the livesof those who have it, and what can be done about it. Again, this could be aseparate course that is required or a part of another required course. Then,pamphlets about all these things should be made available at the health (ornurse’s) office and suggested for the students to read before they receivecondoms.
If this is done, then I believe that teenage sex should be less of aproblem than it is now.Category: Social Issues