Condoms In High Schools Essay, Research Paper
Condoms Should Be Distributed In Schools
“More than half of American teenagers have had sexual intercourse and face significant sexual health risks. Each year, over one million teenagers become pregnant, one in seven teenagers contract an STD, and one in five hundred students on collage campuses are infected with HIV.”
-The National Coalition To Support Sexuality Education
The coalition above is made up of over 50 organizations. Many of these organizations are well noted as role models in today’s society. The quote shows why there needs to be condom availability in schools. Children are having sex earlier that ever, babies are having babies, and worst of all people are dying. Students are embarrassed to go buy condoms, they are too expensive, or they do not know where to buy them. Many people dispute distributing condoms in the school. Sexually active teens are at the highest risk for contracting HIV. We must provide children with condoms if we want to protect society from this disease called AIDS.
The HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report shows that from July 1993 to June 1994 there was 439 AIDS cases in 13 to 19 year old. 52 percent contracted the virus from unprotected sex, 47 percent were girls having unprotected sex. The report also shows that there were 844 20 to 24 year olds that developed AIDS in the same time period, 62 percent were from unprotected sex, and 51 percent were woman who have had unprotected sex. AIDS can lay dormant from anywhere between two to ten years, even longer. Given that statistic, most of the subjects in the older age group were infected in high school. Even worse, the subjects in the younger age group were infected as early as grade school.
Many parents think that providing condoms to students will give them an excuse to go out and have sex. That is one of the most ridiculous arguments. The nurse provides band-aids, and kids are not going to cut them selves just because they can get one. People have a misconception about distributing condoms. I believe that some parents think that condoms are given to every student weekly in homeroom, or something like that. The program just makes them available so if a student needs one they can get one.
The program that was in effect at New York City schools said that students can get condoms without parental consent. A vote by parents and teachers overturned it. Now, students have to have their parents sign a consent form so their son or daughter can pickup a condom at school. As a student this bothers me greatly, high school students are constantly being told to grow up, mature, or anything else like that. When they finally do something mature, taking responsibility and using a condom, the adults make it even harder to do. Some students who took advantage of the policy now are no longer able to because their parents would not sign the consent form. These same parents, most definitely, would not give their children condoms themselves.
The whole concept does not make sense to me. If a student could not get condoms from home, they would get them from school. If students could get condoms from home, they would not have to get them from school. Having parental consent forms just makes it even harder for all of the students to get condoms. The student whose parent did sign the form would have to show ID, which would deter many students. Students whose parents did not sign the consent form would have to go to a drug store to buy them. Most drug stores have the condoms behind glass so you need to ask to get them, that is a very embarrassing experience for a 14 or 15 year old. Also, the condoms the schools have are donated by the manufacture, and they are the correct condoms that not only keep sperm from penetrating the condom, but HIV as well. Students are getting the safest condoms for free. If students have to buy condoms they have to pay, on the average, one dollar per condom, a dollar each time they want to have sex. Students might buy the cheaper condoms which probably will also be cheep in quality, or worse, not buy them at all.
When police are going up against a gunman, they wear bulletproof vests. When firemen are going into a burning building, they wear fireproof suits. When people have sex they need to use a condom. All of these are protection against possible death and they need to be used in precaution. When there is violence on high school campuses the police are called out, this protects the students. Usually, there is security on campus a few days after the unrest, be it a shooting, riot, or anything else. This is done in precaution of a possible repeat. The school puts the security on campus because that is their job, to protect the students. There was a riot at our school two years ago, the school used thousands of dollars to beef up security for months after that. If the school did not do that parents would have been irate that the school did not do their best to protect there children. On the same reasoning, the school should pass out condoms. The students need to be protected, and that is the schools job.
People who dispute the distribution of condoms in school do not realize how early kids are having sex. “Right wingers” need to take off their rose colored glasses. Eleven and twelve year olds are having sex. These are the same kids who are in the statistics I stated above, not to mention the ones who contract another venereal disease. There are also those who become pregnant and risk their health, either by having an abortion or by having their baby. Condoms need to be distributed to students to save their lives, people need to realize this.
In my essay, I only touched on teen pregnancy. The problem of teenagers having babies is a sad thing today, and I do not want to lessen the stigma of it. I do, although, think that the problem of AIDS is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, problem society has ever faced. In the fact based book And The Band Played On, the author talks about the cluster study done to see if the disease was, in fact, sexually transmitted. In this study there was “patient zero”, he had sex with at least 40 people who developed AIDS. Each of them gave the disease to an average of ten people. That is 400 people who developed AIDS and died. Granted, this was a very sexually active group, but some teenagers are just as active. If you realize that it is possible to save 400 people if they just used a condom, I think the answer is easy. Teenagers need an easy way to get condoms, and through their high school nurse, anonymous, and without parent consent is the way to do it.
Blair, Jill, “HIV/AIDS Education Including Condom Availability In New York City Schools,” Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S. Report, December 1991/January 1992.
Dillon, Sam, “Controversial Yet Convenient”, New York Times, January 11, 1993.
Shilts, Randy, And The Band Played On, New York, St. Martins Press, 1987.
The National Coalition To Support Sexuality Education, “Statement in Support of Condom Availability Programs In Public Schools”, SIECUS Report, December 1991/January 1992.
Center For Disease Control, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, July 1994, Vol. 6, No. 1.
Sexueal Information Council of the U.S., “SIECUS Fact Sheet #1 On Comprhensive Sexuality Education,” SIECUS Report, December 1991/January 1992.