It’s a disgrace that the health of teenagers is jeopardized because of the misinformed views of many parents. Yes, you are fully entitled to discourage your child from having sex. Most parents do this, and it’s not exactly a controversial parenting tactic. That said, all good parents want to protect the safety of their children. This means reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancies, which can cause psychological trauma, death, economic burden, and other issues. It also means reducing the frequency of STDs. These cause necessary medical checkups, lifelong problems, increased health risks and in the worst cases, death.
Condoms aren’t as expensive when purchased in bulk, and many health organizations and private groups would be more than happy to donate them for free. Cost is not a legitimate argument against distributing condoms. Yes, an ideal world would have parents educating their children and keeping them safe. However, condoms aren’t the end of the world. In an ideal world, parents provide their children with adequate nutrition. I doubt there would be an uproar if a teacher spent their own money to purchase health snacks for their class. We’d praise the behavior is a kind gesture.
When it comes to the law, moral viewpoints often clash. When it comes to children, however, there is one value that trumps everything: the safety and well-being of societies most youth. Jehovah’s Witnesses are against blood transfusions because of their faith, and they often object to transfusions being done on their children. Without transfusions, many people die from blood loss or injuries. This is why many areas have allowed the law to overturn a parents wishes. The child is not old enough to make an informed choice, and the parents are putting their life at risk. This is child endangerment and in some cases, sentencing a child to death. I would hope most people would applaud laws that protect children in such cases.
On the topic of child endangerment, we come to condoms. People claim that providing condoms is giving kids permission to have sex. This isn’t true. If the government allows people to have guns, it doesn’t endorse shooting everyone. It prefers that you don’t shoot anyone at all. Well, assuming the government isn’t the stuff of horror movies, which we all wonder sometimes… Regardless, it’s quite clear that this isn’t permission.
How can condoms be used in a good way? If you know you’re going to do something you dangerous – something that probably isn’t the best idea – you prepare just in case. As much as people like drinking, it’s not healthy to binge drink. If you know you’re going to do it anyway, you should give someone your keys and have a safety plan. Someone should be there to ensure everyone is kept safe and no one becomes a weapon behind the wheel of a car.
The reality is that teenagers are especially subject to biological urges. I know for a fact many adults have decided to avoid using a condom because they thought the risk was worth it. Parents generally love their children. They can’t help it. Obviously, they aren’t going to regret their decision. But in many ways, they know it was irresponsible. Otherwise, they wouldn’t give their child a lecture about safe sex.
Like adults, teenagers have urges. Genetically, they are at an incredibly sexual stage of development. In addition, psychological research shows that the mind processes risks differently as we age. Teenagers are genetically a riskier bunch, on average. They have new feelings, peer pressure, a desire to form independence, and all kinds of variables floating around in their heads. However, they usually aren’t thinking straight. It’s a rash action, but using protection is a lot safer than going without it.
Research on sex education has revealed some interesting facts. Abstinence only sex education programs actually increase the likeliness of pregnancy. Programs that combine safe-sex information with abstinence education reduce the frequency of pregnancies among students. Many of these studies had over 1000 participants. For those who aren’t familiar with polling procedures, most studies have mathematically proven accuracy levels above 95%. The more studies that verify the same result, the better things look. Things are looking good for the support of safe-sex information.
If safe-sex information helps, it isn’t the same as giving out condoms. However, it’s not like safe-sex information provides information that scares people away from sex. This is already covered in most abstinence-only programs. The only addition safe-sex teaching provides is how to protect yourself which, yes, includes instructions. A knowledgeable teen is better than one that doesn’t understand how they got pregnant when they did X, which is usually some common myth about preventing pregnancies.
So if safe-sex information is helping reduce pregnancy, we can safely gather it’s because they are actually using condoms. After all, the critics claim safe-sex encourages rampant promiscuity. It doesn’t, but that’s not the point. If it did, you’d expect pregnancy rates to be higher. They are lower regardless of how often they are having sex. So if the goal is safety, condoms are working. If the goal is preventing pregnancy, condoms are working. What’s the problem, one might ask?
Many kids are shy when it comes to sex, but they’re certainly not shy when it comes to having it. There are teenagers who are afraid to consult their family physician. Depending on location and age, they may inform their parents. Small communities will involve the risk of being spotted by a family friend. Suddenly, it seems like they’ve been foiled. The kicker is that they are just going to have sex without the safety. They want to have sex, they’re going to have sex, but they don’t want everyone judging them.
Every teenager thinks they couldn’t possibly have an STD or their partner is faithful and/or a virgin. Some STDs are transmissable without sex, any many people are unfaithful or liars. Having a safe sex strategy that consists of only being with people who say they are faithful is, quite frankly, a recipe for disaster. It’s russian roulette, and some people are fortunate enough to be safe again and again.
Public education can tell children the Holocaust was a horrible moment in history. That’s a moral judgment, but most of us would be outraged if the topic was discussed and debated to satisfy the child with Nazi beliefs. Condoms reduce the risk of harm coming to a child. They don’t send rays of evil down to the earth or anything like that. They are simple devices that help protect people from getting diseases that are sometimes fatal. The horror! Lock up the children!
We can ignore the people who can’t understand science, reason, and the fact that condoms help protect children. We shouldn’t change math textbooks if someone starts thinking 2+2=5. Results speak for themselves, have been measured, and should be consulted. Unverified and unjustified opinions that people usually get from poor news media are, quite frankly, not appropriate for consideration. It’s the safety of children at stake.
Additionally, we’ve got the people against birth control. Their beliefs aren’t founded on any reason or evidence. Even most religious people no longer support their opinions. We don’t have to let every nut theory have time in the classroom. Children aren’t being properly educated on what we teach them now. We don’t need to waste their time to satisfy the objections of a small minority of people. Children deserve the freedom, information, and resources that can help protect them. If they don’t use the condoms, they’ll have a lifelong memory of the awesome balloon fight at school.