A recent review of 13 studies found that Abstinence programs do nothing to reduce the risk of HIV infection or pregnancy in teenagers.
Um… duh? That’s why the old addage of, “Don’t go skydiving without a parachute!” is so important. That’s what you’re doing when you have unprotected sex with someone who’s sexual history is unknown to you! Not to mention the fact that you’re risking bringing a child into the world that you’re not prepared to care for.
Now… I’m not saying all teenagers should run off and have sex.
What I am saying is, teenagers will run off and have sex in spite of what authority figures have to say about it. The best thing that authority figures (parents, schools, etc… ) can do is make condoms easily accessible. Keep a box in the house somewhere, have them in vending machines in the school bathroom stalls, where they can be acquired by students in some measure of privacy. Pass them out to teenagers during health classes and tell them if they need more, the school nurse passes them out for free.
Heck, my high school kept a basket full of them on the secretary’s desk in the principal’s office. You could run by and grab them whenever you felt like it and no one cared or even looked at you when you did.
Maybe I grew up in a more liberal and enlightened world.
If my kids are going to have sex, and I know they will, nothing I do or say is going to stop them from doing it, I’d rather them be safe doing it, and have the power to choose when they start families. Condoms, while not a perfect solution, are an easy way of maintaining that measure of control and safety. There’s no reason why we, as a society, should be shy about their use. We should be making them as readily available as candy.