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Opinion discussion: How do you feel about public schools distributing


Quill
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On 1/22/2019 at 12:20 PM, EmseB said:

I do because marriage and family are stabilizers for society in most cases. They reduce poverty, they reduce environmental impact/footprints, they create emotionally healthy and stable kids who turn into adults, they create environments where elder care is more tenable...all sorts of things that are empirically good for society with stable families. And there's something to be said for being done childrearing before you are hitting your late-50s/early- to mid-60s.

I do not endorse teen marriage FWIW, but yeah, I see a bunch of stable families in society with people having kids younger much, much more preferable than marriage-free, childfree, delayed sex, which seems to by symptomatic of an overall delayed adulthood/prolonged adolescence.

I'm sure this isn't a popular opinion, btw, and I'm not directly trying to argue with you except to offer a different perspective. But having a family to take care of as a purpose in life, I think, is one of the great stabilizing forces in society as a whole and is good for most everybody. And I don't think it is matched by a lot of other things like pursuit of a career or hobby, for example.

 

I agree with you that marriage and family are stabilizers for society, hence my support of gay marriage and my almost complete inability to understand the whole “baby daddy” phenomenon and individuals who are willing to have a baby with someone but think marriage is too serious and they aren’t ready. However, the economic reality today compared to previous generations is that there are simply far fewer family wage jobs that can be obtained with a high school diploma or limited post high school training. When you combine that with crazy housing and healthcare costs, and more grandparents working, so not available to help with childcare, there are simply far fewer young people in a position to financially support a family compared to earlier generations. Some of this has been chosen by society by supporting policies that encourage wealth concentration, underfund education, replace family wage union jobs with cheap labor, oppose universal healthcare, etc., while globalization, technology, and ever increasing wealt inequality also play a role.

While I don’t disagree that we underestimate what teens are capable of and as a society we don’t provide them enough opportunities for real responsibility, I personally can’t get on board with encouraging early marriage and parenthood in a global way given the current economic realities. And I most definitely was a free range, early responsibility parent. 

Edited by Frances
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On 1/22/2019 at 7:32 PM, Quill said:

By age 30? By age 44?  What kind of stats are those? It doesn’t say, “...91% of those turning 15 between 1964 and 1993 had had premarital sex by age fifteen.” I find nothing whatsoever surprising about 30yo having premarital sex in any era. I suspect my MIL was among them, since she got married later than typical for her generation (age 30) and her first child was born eight months later. Maybe he was a premie. But I doubt it. 

 

It also said 48% of people, even in the 1954-63 cohort had PREMARITAL sex by age 20 with most of the people holding off being women pre-BCPs. The link I provided WRT all sex, not just premarital sex, showed a marked decline in the number of virgins over age 20, but NOT a marked increase in the number of sexually active people under 15. Both things can be true. You actually might have to read the reports. 

Edited by Sneezyone
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4 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

 

Sure, they might make a few condom balloons. But the cost of this is trivial in the grand scheme of things. Why should they sell them on weekends? Do they sell pencils and tampons they got for free as well? Who would buy when they can all get the same things for the same price on Monday?

Why wouldn’t they? It’s like you think every teen who could just stroll into the school nurse and get one will do so. And that they have the foresight to pick them up, on the suumption one may be needed, and then bring them along, just in case. If they are this good at planning, why is it necessary to provide them at school for free? 

I remember kids selling cigarettes to other kids right before mb on the part of the unprepared smokers, smart on the part of the enterprising cig suppliers. Anyone could buy their own. But they didn’t get around to it beforehand or whatever. 

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1 minute ago, Farrar said:

I just skimmed much of this thread finally.

My primary questions is why aren't they also giving out dental dams?

 

I had the same question. When we did our talk with the kids, my oldest had never heard of them. They went all over and through STDs and never mentioned dental dams? Nope.

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1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:

 

I had the same question. When we did our talk with the kids, my oldest had never heard of them. They went all over and through STDs and never mentioned dental dams? Nope.

And... among other things... this is one of the main ways that tongue and throat cancer via HPV is spreading now. There's been a huge uptick in these cancers in the last decade.

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5 hours ago, Quill said:

Presumably they don’t have sex in the hallway outside the nurse’s office so I don’t know why these impulsive, irresponsible horny kids are supposedly well-equipped with the foresight necessary to pick up their raincoats from the nurse on Friday, yet couldn’t be relied upon to go buy their own. 🤷🏼‍♀️

I assume the schools expect them to take some home, probably after a sex ed lesson, and have them in their wallets, purses, and in their bedrooms for the times they do give into their impulses without having planned ahead.  That's exactly the kid who should have condoms on the premises. You have to stop thinking like an adult when having this discussion and you have to think like an impulsive teen. Plenty of teen sexual encounters happen like that.

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4 hours ago, SKL said:

Fertility doesn't just shut off after some ideal number of children.  If you prefer a more natural fertility pattern, yes you're going to have teens raising kids, but also those teens are going to be in their 20s having more kids, and in their 30s and possibly 40s having more kids.  Who decides when it's time to stop making babies and start the career?

Also, ageing does sap energy for work, as I'm experiencing these days.  My natural productivity right now is probably less than half of what it was when I was a young adult.  Obviously everyone decides for herself, but personally I believe I got a lot more done by doing the career thing first.  This of course assumes that raising only 2 kids is also right for me and not an unforgivable affront to nature.  If I was going to have 12 kids, I would want to have them younger, but then it would be harder to have a very productive career.

 

I'm not sure what your thinking is here.  Presumably if people can avoid having kids in their early adulthood, they can equally avoid it later on.

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25 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

 

It also said 48% of people, even in the 1954-63 cohort had sex by age 20 with most of the people holding off being women pre-BCPs. The link I provided WRT all sex, not just premarital sex, showed a marked decline in the number of virgins over age 20, but NOT a marked increase in the number of sexually active people under 15. Both things can be true. You actually might have to read the reports. 

Again - we are talking about minor high school students.  The % increases sharply between age 16-18 and 18-20, but I'm much more interested in what the under-18yos are doing for purposes of the present discussion.

Also, the data shows that the % of 15-and-under who had premarital sex more than tripled from the 1950s to the 2000s.  This can not be explained just by earlier marriage ages in the 1950s.

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2 hours ago, Quill said:

I don’t know what the point of hair-splitting over how many of our grandparents had sex as teens, whether it is rising and by how much, and how it accounts for who just plain got married young vs. who was abstinent by choice - geez, guys; it’s kind of beside the point. Should we start talking about whether women have become more attractive since the fifties, what with the advent of good bras and red lipstick and the permanent wave? So that really, more sex is about better-looking available partners? 

I’m being facetious, obviously. 

When I brought up this topic in the OP, the rationale, according to the news story I read, is that STDs among teens in the proposed county are on the rise. Therefore, either more teens are having sex than previously, more teens are having sex with multiple partners than previously and/or more teens are having sex without using condoms than previously. It is one or a combination of these factors that made STDs increase in teens in the county initiating this program. 

Also, I think it is important to note tha the county implementing this program is very affluent. If there are kids in Howard County, MD with NO ability to afford and transport themselves to a store to buy condoms, I have no idea which teens that might describe. I’m not saying there’s no such thing as a poor kid with few resources here, but they are not a large population. I think that fact alone puts a pretty big fact check on the idea that teens need condoms because it’s such an obstacle to buy them. Maybe that’s true in some places, but not here in this bougie county. 

 

My guess is that they are using less protection.  Over the past number of years since the drugs to deal with HIV have become really good, younger people don't seem to have quite the same sense of the importance of avoiding STIs.

I don't know if its enough to make a statistical difference, but some kids now are also trying to use those NFP apps, which of course don't do a darn thing to prevent disease.

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31 minutes ago, Farrar said:

And... among other things... this is one of the main ways that tongue and throat cancer via HPV is spreading now. There's been a huge uptick in these cancers in the last decade.

 

I think this is your answer.  People don't use condoms for oral sex either, for the most part.  I suspect many people would just as soon not bother.

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Those statistics talking how what percentage of kids have had sex now vs then doesn't tell us if the number of sexual partners has increased nor does it include sexual activity that doesn't include intercourse. Both of that 2 things are going to effect overall STD rates.

Edited by DesertBlossom
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To put it more bluntly, the logic part of the brain isn't the part of the brain engaged when teens are making out.  Lots of pregnancies and STDS happen in unplanned one night stand type situations.  There are impromptu romantic/sexual get togethers opportunistic teens create on the spur of the moment either between couples in a relationship or two teens who haven't been in a relationship together up to that point.  That can go unplanned places quickly. Add in alcohol and drug use and things can go unplanned places even more easily.  It's a rare teen, even one who isn't horny, who is characterized by thinking ahead and planning. I think the condoms should be sent home with every teen in addition to being made available at the nurse's office because it's probably even more effective to have them in their homes before they even meet a potential sexual partner. 

Does that mean I think fornication is morally acceptable?  No.  Does that mean I think it's morally the school's job to guard against these things?  No.  Do I think what's been tried so far is a terrible failure?  YES! We had a daycare center at my high school for the students and it was full with a waiting list.  I had friends whose first abortions were in 8th grade.  I had a friend who had 2 elective abortions and a miscarriage by the time she graduated from high school and her first live birth a year later-not from a religious or conservative family. I have 2 nieces who were pregnant outside of marriage.  I'm just not as confident in a teen's planning skills as some people are. I have seen real life, real world, consistent evidence to the contrary.  Most teens aren't logical and thoughtful and conscientious. It doesn't matter why, it's just the reality. My brother at 30 was snookered into believing his fling (32) was on a depo shot and didn't insist on using a condom in addition just in case it wasn't true or in case the known failure rate but reality didn't care about that.   Either way, he has a son from that 1 week relationship. 

That's the problem with arguing logically from a theoretical point like:
Anyone engaging in adult behavior should engage in adult planning. That argument is built on the false presupposition that the teens will behave with internal logic-not something the vast majority of teens are known for.
 Let me restate the situation with the reality explicitly stated:
Indulging sexual impulses does not necessarily go with engaging in adult planning.  Should it?  Yes, but we can't assume people will do what they should do and the consequences of that can be extremely serious to innocent parties by resulting in unwanted pregnancies and STDs that can lie undetected and spread to partners even in situations where the infected person is genuinely repentant about the fornication and decides to abstain until marriage from that point on.  The future spouse can catch what the repentant spouse didn't have an symptoms of yet.

So what can society do that's effective?  Teach comprehensive sex ed that's equally heavy on strategies for abstinence (even people who are not opposed to fornication on moral grounds will likely be opposed to it in certain situations and they need support) as it is on the mathematical realities of failures of contraception and the importance using a minimum of 2 methods at the same time every time because math is a cold hearted b!tch who doesn't care about anyone's naivete. The schools are where teens are already getting lessons in math and biology. And taxpayer funded schools are the place unplanned kids are the most likely to attend.  Unplanned pregnancies tend to be generational. The taxpayers are under a tremendous burden because of unplanned pregnancies, picking up the bill and subsidizing everything from healthcare costs related to pregnancy, delivery, abortions, housing, childcare, public education, college loans, etc. America is in debt up to its eyeballs and can't afford to keep doing what isn't effective.  Being born as the result of planned by both parents situation is statistically the most likely to result int eh stability children need to thrive and tends to cost the taxpayers less. (Yes, I know there are exceptions, I'm talking about generalities here.)

As a pro-lifer I'm in complete and total support of the government funding free contraception (stopping egg and sperm from meeting) because it results in fewer aborted babies and it's cheaper than the costs related to government funded services for unplanned children.  (With the national debt, we can't afford the services we're providing to people now.) Again, sex ed teachers and OB/GYNs have dropped the ball on explaining failure rates, and I want them to teach the 2 medically sound methods every time approach or medical sterilization because avoiding an unwanted conception always results in avoiding an abortion. 

It's time to do what works.

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16 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:


It's time to do what works.

 

How can we be certain it will work?  I can't believe there are very many teenagers (or adults) who don't know that condoms can prevent pregnancies and STDs. And yet the rates of STDs are rising. What makes anyone think that passing out free condoms is going to help?

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9 minutes ago, DesertBlossom said:

How can we be certain it will work?  I can't believe there are very many teenagers (or adults) who don't know that condoms can prevent pregnancies and STDs. And yet the rates of STDs are rising. What makes anyone think that passing out free condoms is going to help?

Um, I addressed that in my posts.  They'll have them on hand when they engage in sex.  You know condoms have a shelf-life, right?  
We know what we've been doing doesn't work, so trying something that seems to work in Western Europe is a good bet. If we decided to never do something because we weren't certain it would work we'd all still be living like cavemen.   

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30 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Thing is, ONLY passing out condoms apparently doesn’t work.  What seems to work is comprehensive education programs.   Those might include passing out condoms or not.  

I believe she advocated for comprehensive education plus making condoms available.

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8 hours ago, Momto5inIN said:

That's great, I'm glad to see that it's declining from what it was when I was in jr high and high school. But that's not really the time period I was referring to. The studies you cited gave data from the late 80's to 2015, when hookup culture and the media's celebration of that was already well established and had been thriving for some time. 

But we don't have accurate statistics from the time period you reference (there were serious reporting bias issues in the early surveys), so much of what is claimed about that time is anecdotal.

Regardless, it is hard to claim " nowadays casual hookups are considered the norm" for teens when the data shows they aren't the norm. 

Edited by ChocolateReignRemix
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2 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

To put it more bluntly, the logic part of the brain isn't the part of the brain engaged when teens are making out.  Lots of pregnancies and STDS happen in unplanned one night stand type situations.  There are impromptu romantic/sexual get togethers opportunistic teens create on the spur of the moment either between couples in a relationship or two teens who haven't been in a relationship together up to that point.  That can go unplanned places quickly. Add in alcohol and drug use and things can go unplanned places even more easily.  It's a rare teen, even one who isn't horny, who is characterized by thinking ahead and planning. I think the condoms should be sent home with every teen in addition to being made available at the nurse's office because it's probably even more effective to have them in their homes before they even meet a potential sexual partner. 

Does that mean I think fornication is morally acceptable?  No.  Does that mean I think it's morally the school's job to guard against these things?  No.  Do I think what's been tried so far is a terrible failure?  YES! We had a daycare center at my high school for the students and it was full with a waiting list.  I had friends whose first abortions were in 8th grade.  I had a friend who had 2 elective abortions and a miscarriage by the time she graduated from high school and her first live birth a year later-not from a religious or conservative family. I have 2 nieces who were pregnant outside of marriage.  I'm just not as confident in a teen's planning skills as some people are. I have seen real life, real world, consistent evidence to the contrary.  Most teens aren't logical and thoughtful and conscientious. It doesn't matter why, it's just the reality. My brother at 30 was snookered into believing his fling (32) was on a depo shot and didn't insist on using a condom in addition just in case it wasn't true or in case the known failure rate but reality didn't care about that.   Either way, he has a son from that 1 week relationship. 

That's the problem with arguing logically from a theoretical point like:
Anyone engaging in adult behavior should engage in adult planning. That argument is built on the false presupposition that the teens will behave with internal logic-not something the vast majority of teens are known for.
 Let me restate the situation with the reality explicitly stated:
Indulging sexual impulses does not necessarily go with engaging in adult planning.  Should it?  Yes, but we can't assume people will do what they should do and the consequences of that can be extremely serious to innocent parties by resulting in unwanted pregnancies and STDs that can lie undetected and spread to partners even in situations where the infected person is genuinely repentant about the fornication and decides to abstain until marriage from that point on.  The future spouse can catch what the repentant spouse didn't have an symptoms of yet.

So what can society do that's effective?  Teach comprehensive sex ed that's equally heavy on strategies for abstinence (even people who are not opposed to fornication on moral grounds will likely be opposed to it in certain situations and they need support) as it is on the mathematical realities of failures of contraception and the importance using a minimum of 2 methods at the same time every time because math is a cold hearted b!tch who doesn't care about anyone's naivete. The schools are where teens are already getting lessons in math and biology. And taxpayer funded schools are the place unplanned kids are the most likely to attend.  Unplanned pregnancies tend to be generational. The taxpayers are under a tremendous burden because of unplanned pregnancies, picking up the bill and subsidizing everything from healthcare costs related to pregnancy, delivery, abortions, housing, childcare, public education, college loans, etc. America is in debt up to its eyeballs and can't afford to keep doing what isn't effective.  Being born as the result of planned by both parents situation is statistically the most likely to result int eh stability children need to thrive and tends to cost the taxpayers less. (Yes, I know there are exceptions, I'm talking about generalities here.)

As a pro-lifer I'm in complete and total support of the government funding free contraception (stopping egg and sperm from meeting) because it results in fewer aborted babies and it's cheaper than the costs related to government funded services for unplanned children.  (With the national debt, we can't afford the services we're providing to people now.) Again, sex ed teachers and OB/GYNs have dropped the ball on explaining failure rates, and I want them to teach the 2 medically sound methods every time approach or medical sterilization because avoiding an unwanted conception always results in avoiding an abortion. 

It's time to do what works.

I agree with everything you said, especially the part about two methods. For me, the media portrayal of condom use being enough bothers me even more than the casual sex. Sure, it’s better than nothing, but not nearly enough if you want to stack the odds in your favor against conception.

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15 hours ago, Quill said:

This is my thinking and why ITA with what Bluegoat posted. It’s a wide-scale infantalizing of young people that I do not see as a net societal benefit. “We” treat teens like we don’t expect them to plumb the depths of their resourcefulness for any purpose. There’s so much talk now - as we were just discussing on these boards a week or two ago - about upper teens not being “ready” to learn to drive. We’re talking about having kids do a Gap Year because they aren’t “ready” to go to college. And I have had the same thought about the bus stops; bus stop when I was a kid served all kids on my cul-de-sac and a few kids several houses down the main road. Now buses stop 500 times it seems like, in front of each individual house. 

 

 

Admittedly, I have difficulty shifting my view to that reality. It isn’t that I don’t believe it to be widespread reality, but that I mostly only read about it online. I don’t often see it IRL. My daughters, as “teen” as they may be at home, have it more together than some adults we know, as do most of the friends they choose.  The irony is that neither of them wants to have kids. At 16 or at 36.

I’ve no doubt that they could figure out bc on their own, but I’ve also made it clear that I am more than willing to help, because I don’t see growing and birthing a baby as a minor inconvenience to be withstood because of some sort of transportation or online ordering snafu! Regardless of how capable they might be. “You weren’t smart enough to find condoms, so make a person now” (or other results) doesn’t add up to me.

I can’t shift society, and I can’t make all teens be abstinent, but I can support measures that offer teens who are “too irresponsible” to otherwise access birth control an option to avoid becoming teen parents who are then, assumedly, much too irresponsible to have children!

Will it save everyone? No. Could it mean everything to a few? Yes. Good enough for me.

Signed,
Someone who deeply struggled with multiple unplannned pregnancies as a married, stable adult. And that’s hard enough.

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10 hours ago, ChocolateReignRemix said:

But we don't have accurate statistics from the time period you reference (there were serious reporting bias issues in the early surveys), so much of what is claimed about that time is anecdotal.

Regardless, it is hard to claim " nowadays casual hookups are considered the norm" for teens when the data shows they aren't the norm. 

 

There is a difference between what people considered normative, and what people do.  

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Re: condoms combined with sex ed.

It's no only a matter of whether condoms without sex ed has the same effect.  It's whether the sex ed without the condoms is as good as with.  Maybe its really the education element that makes the main difference.

I do't know - I think there are groups where passing out free condoms can make a big difference.  People working in prostitution being the foremost example.  Teens who have particular vulnerabilities, I would not be surprised.

Middle class teens - I'm not so sure that there is much more effect beyond what they'd get from a good program .  Certainly at my university, I think it was more about: people feeling good about helping by doing something that was essentially easy - a company getting some exposure for donating them to the school - kids liking the feeling of grown up maturity where it was assumed they were sexually active.  (In that, it was kind of typical of a lot of the popular social justice initiatives - that was the era where the most popular was Free Tibet, which was essentially going to parties/concerts featuring free Tibet slogans.)

In the case of the OP, what I'd really want to know is why there is an increase in STIs.  It isn't likely that suddenly condoms are less available.

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Eventually I assume we will have some data and anecdotes telling us whether or not the presence of free, confidentially available condoms helped or caused problems in actual people's lives.

I have to admit that this just isn't something I'm passionate about.  Everyone has their own ideas of what will reduce early pregnancies and STDs.  Nobody's ideas are fool proof.  I'm guessing all of us are just hoping and praying that our own kids will be all right, whatever happens.  So to me, if they want to have condoms at school, whatever.  Whether I agree with it or not, I'm not going to fight it. 

I will say that my views on this have changed as my kids have grown.  "My kid would never" has become an almost extinct saying around here.  Give me a few years and extinction may be complete.  😛

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1 hour ago, Bluegoat said:

 

There is a difference between what people considered normative, and what people do.  

 

11 hours ago, ChocolateReignRemix said:

But we don't have accurate statistics from the time period you reference (there were serious reporting bias issues in the early surveys), so much of what is claimed about that time is anecdotal.

Regardless, it is hard to claim " nowadays casual hookups are considered the norm" for teens when the data shows they aren't the norm. 

 

Bluegoat's comment is what I was getting at. Regardless of how many teens are actually engaging in this type of sexual behavior, most of them don't think it's abnormal for their peers to casually hook up with several different partners during high school. In fact, from what I've gathered by talking to teens in my area, most of them think that not engaging in these behaviors is what is abnormal. And I think the opposite held true in times past like the 50's. Perhaps a lower but roughly similar number of teens were still active, but it was most definitely not considered "normal" behavior in those days to have several partners, as many diaries and primary sources and just interviewing your grandparents and other of their generation would tell you even if the statistics don't.

I am not advocating we go back to the 50's, don't get me wrong. That's not my intent at all. And I'm not advocating for abstinence only sex ed either, as I've said several times in this thread. It is just astonishing to me that someone could claim that sexual norms nowadays do not include casual hookups much more than they did in times past.

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Honestly? If I had the slightest suspicion that DD or any of her peers that come over to our house were sexually active in a manner where condoms are of help, I would have them freely available, no questions asked, in the guest bathroom.

If kids are going to be active, whether or not they have a condom on hand is unlikely to change their minds about it. But it might help them be a little safer, at least physically. I see no down side.

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5 hours ago, Momto5inIN said:

 

 

Bluegoat's comment is what I was getting at. Regardless of how many teens are actually engaging in this type of sexual behavior, most of them don't think it's abnormal for their peers to casually hook up with several different partners during high school. In fact, from what I've gathered by talking to teens in my area, most of them think that not engaging in these behaviors is what is abnormal. And I think the opposite held true in times past like the 50's. Perhaps a lower but roughly similar number of teens were still active, but it was most definitely not considered "normal" behavior in those days to have several partners, as many diaries and primary sources and just interviewing your grandparents and other of their generation would tell you even if the statistics don't.

I am not advocating we go back to the 50's, don't get me wrong. That's not my intent at all. And I'm not advocating for abstinence only sex ed either, as I've said several times in this thread. It is just astonishing to me that someone could claim that sexual norms nowadays do not include casual hookups much more than they did in times past.

 

But if most aren't actually doing the hook ups (and most teens are not - even those engaging in sexual activities are more often in a steady relationship), then what is really being pushed is yet another moral panic by some. 

No one has said hook ups don't happen, but what is evident in the data is that they are *not* the norm for teens as the vast majority do not participate,

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Is it possible that this thread made it this far without discussing the fact that we're in a massive sex recession?

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/12/the-sex-recession/573949/

Quote

To the relief of many parents, educators, and clergy members who care about the health and well-being of young people, teens are launching their sex lives later. From 1991 to 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey finds, the percentage of high-school students who’d had intercourse dropped from 54 to 40 percent. In other words, in the space of a generation, sex has gone from something most high-school students have experienced to something most haven’t. (And no, they aren’t having oral sex instead—that rate hasn’t changed much.)

Meanwhile, the U.S. teen pregnancy rate has plummeted to a third of its modern high. When this decline started, in the 1990s, it was widely and rightly embraced. But now some observers are beginning to wonder whether an unambiguously good thing might have roots in less salubrious developments. Signs are gathering that the delay in teen sex may have been the first indication of a broader withdrawal from physical intimacy that extends well into adulthood.

 

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I think they should be free nation wide. Personally, I have kept stocks of them distributed around my house (in every bathroom, in opened boxes so it's not obvious how many were/are there) ever since my oldest was a teen. I send big boxes to college, too. My goal is to do my part to make sure no teen/college kid I or my kids know gets pregnant unintentionally. From a purely selfish standpoint, can you imagine how distracting and upsetting it'd be if your college roommate got knocked up by her fling? I know that at least two doses of Plan B (that I paid for) have prevented that mishap in my kids' circle of friends. Worth every penny. 

It's not my business when or how or if they get used, but neither is whether poor parents feed their kids. I donate to food banks, too. 

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

Is it possible that this thread made it this far without discussing the fact that we're in a massive sex recession?

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/12/the-sex-recession/573949/

 

Yes, this was discussed, though in different terms.

Personally I still think 40% is way too high, but I don't think anyone has really figured out what to do about that.

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

Is it possible that this thread made it this far without discussing the fact that we're in a massive sex recession?

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/12/the-sex-recession/573949/

 

Yep. We talked about it. It's hard for many to believe but, yep, today's teens are having less sex than their grandparents.

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Late to the game, but honestly, I’m fine with it. I don’t think the ability to get condoms would encourage kids who weren’t planning or wanting to have sex already, to do so. I think lots of teens are having sex; safety and pregnancy prevention are more responsible ways to do it.

I’m conservative when it comes to this. I think sex is best saved for marriage, but we don’t live in a perfect world. What I’d prefer is that there were less terminated pregnancies, and less diseases being spread amongst young people. With that in mind, I’m all for it.

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I concur with Stacey. Studies show teens are having less sex than 50 years ago. But the ones that are having sex are at risk, and frankly, as a tax payer we all end up paying for that often in the guise of Planned Parenthood services, medicaid for pregnancy and babies, WIC, etc. clinics for STD's you name it. I am not against providing these things at all. Really. But it also behooves us as a society to do what we can to prevent the need widespread need of them, and try to insure more babies are born to ready parents than unready. It is wise to limit STD's if we can. So while I don't think a basket of condoms at the nurse's desk will cause teens to go, "OH yay...now I can have sex" because the ones that are wanting to have sex have already been thinking about it and very likely decided to risk it, I do think it could spur them to think, "Hmmmm I was going to have sex, but if I can be safe, that's cool", and maybe they'll use one. It isn't expensive so why not give it a shot.

My son's college health department provides them free all over campus. LOL, their motto when doing a presentation at his freshman welcome session was, "Don't be silly. Wrap your willy!" I think a lot of parents weren't happy, but I was fine with it. They'd had an increase in students coming to them for pregnancy tests or STD testing, and they decided to tackle the issue. In the three years since they've done, the numbers of students seeking this assistance has dropped by a huge percentage, and they are handing out A LOT of condoms. That's not surprising. Shoot even when I was in college way back in the Stone Ages and staying in the conservative, no party dorm, my floor mates were having a lot of sex, and every year there were abortions or dropping out school for pregnancy mixed with whispers of "I think I have herpes" or some such disease. I am quite happy that my son's college is being proactive.

We have to try. That's my position. Biology is strong, and abstinence education has been proven to be ineffective at combating the problems. So hand out condoms, make diaphragms and IUD's easy to get, free would be great, and educate, educate, educate. I think that is the single biggest issue. When a couple of our local high schools abandoned abstinence education and adopted very real, explicit health courses that fully explain human biology and reproductive issues, their pregnancy rates went down to nothing. We have whole years when the high school with 500 students doesn't have a single teen mom, and the abortion rate for the county is getting down to literally single digit numbers. Good job! Good job! Keep it up! One of the very few things, educationally speaking, that is working in my county of otherwise academically pathetic schools.

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On 1/22/2019 at 3:16 PM, Quill said:

I don’t know what the point of hair-splitting over how many of our grandparents had sex as teens, whether it is rising and by how much, and how it accounts for who just plain got married young vs. who was abstinent by choice - geez, guys; it’s kind of beside the point. Should we start talking about whether women have become more attractive since the fifties, what with the advent of good bras and red lipstick and the permanent wave? So that really, more sex is about better-looking available partners? 

I’m being facetious, obviously. 

When I brought up this topic in the OP, the rationale, according to the news story I read, is that STDs among teens in the proposed county are on the rise. Therefore, either more teens are having sex than previously, more teens are having sex with multiple partners than previously and/or more teens are having sex without using condoms than previously. It is one or a combination of these factors that made STDs increase in teens in the county initiating this program. 

Also, I think it is important to note tha the county implementing this program is very affluent. If there are kids in Howard County, MD with NO ability to afford and transport themselves to a store to buy condoms, I have no idea which teens that might describe. I’m not saying there’s no such thing as a poor kid with few resources here, but they are not a large population. I think that fact alone puts a pretty big fact check on the idea that teens need condoms because it’s such an obstacle to buy them. Maybe that’s true in some places, but not here in this bougie county. 

 

Quill, I would guess that many on this thread view the issue of teen sex/condom access and availability through a particular worldview lens. Yes, there variations, but for many there is the idea that premarital sex is careless and stupid.  To hold this viewpoint, you have to believe that marriage has value.

My dd had a good friend who was the "polar opposite" of our family. We are white, comfortably middle class, well-educated, and grew up in married 50+ year families that had strong faith roots. "D" was black, from a poor, broken family and his dad was a drug dealer. To this day, whenever I think of "D," it is with fondness and a sincere wish for happiness, stability, and love for him. He taught our family so much. At the our dinner table one night, he told us, "You all say 'please and thank you.'" "The meal is great and I am so glad to be here, but I can't say 'please'."  He equated "please" with begging as in "please don't hurt me, please don't hurt mom." "Please" had to do with addicts who came to the house.  A word that meant civility to us, meant anything but civility to him.

Marriage held little meaning for him. It wasn't sacred. It wasn't safe. Love wasn't a factor.

Do you think young high school girls that have been sexually assaulted by a family member, a trusted coach, or a religious faith think that sex outside of marriage is "stupid and careless?" What I am trying to say is that more than ever, many of those high school students have worldviews and experiences that widely vary from the stereotypical American middle class image. Does that make sense?

Nationally, for the first time ever, 50% of our school age children live in household at or below the poverty line. Your neighborhood may be affluent like mine, but I suspect that you have significant pockets where students qualify for free lunch programs, which means cars and $10 for a pack of condoms may not be as accessible as you think.

 

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In my area, teen health clinics opened in the high schools back when I was still in high school.  My 20th reunion has come and gone.  So this is not news for me in the slightest and I really don't see the controversy as relevant to reality.  I support meeting kids where they are at.  I think the teen health clinics in schools here have been remarkably successful.  

In my state, pregnant teens have medical decision making for themselves.  I'm not sure why it would be in anyone's best interest to insist that a parent must consent to OTC birth control but a few weeks or months later, if the teen becomes pregnant, they will be in the driver's seat for their medical decisions.  Why not make it as easy as possible for them to NOT get pregnant in the first place?

My niece sees a mental health counselor and gets all of her primary health care at school.  This is a rich city and many of her classmates are as affluent as they come.  She, however, is from poverty and the teen clinic is an indispensable resource for her.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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8 hours ago, swimmermom3 said:

 

Quill, I would guess that many on this thread view the issue of teen sex/condom access and availability through a particular worldview lens. Yes, there variations, but for many there is the idea that premarital sex is careless and stupid.  To hold this viewpoint, you have to believe that marriage has value.

My dd had a good friend who was the "polar opposite" of our family. We are white, comfortably middle class, well-educated, and grew up in married 50+ year families that had strong faith roots. "D" was black, from a poor, broken family and his dad was a drug dealer. To this day, whenever I think of "D," it is with fondness and a sincere wish for happiness, stability, and love for him. He taught our family so much. At the our dinner table one night, he told us, "You all say 'please and thank you.'" "The meal is great and I am so glad to be here, but I can't say 'please'."  He equated "please" with begging as in "please don't hurt me, please don't hurt mom." "Please" had to do with addicts who came to the house.  A word that meant civility to us, meant anything but civility to him.

Marriage held little meaning for him. It wasn't sacred. It wasn't safe. Love wasn't a factor.

Do you think young high school girls that have been sexually assaulted by a family member, a trusted coach, or a religious faith think that sex outside of marriage is "stupid and careless?" What I am trying to say is that more than ever, many of those high school students have worldviews and experiences that widely vary from the stereotypical American middle class image. Does that make sense?

Nationally, for the first time ever, 50% of our school age children live in household at or below the poverty line. Your neighborhood may be affluent like mine, but I suspect that you have significant pockets where students qualify for free lunch programs, which means cars and $10 for a pack of condoms may not be as accessible as you think.

 

No, that does not make sense to me. We don’t debase our expectations because someone had different experiences, negative experiences. That’s like saying, “Well, this boy grew up with parents who smoked cigarettes, in a neighborhood full of people who also smoked, in fact, he has not had one steady figure in his life who does not smoke, so we should give him vaping supplies so maybe he will take up vaping instead of cigarettes.” 

Personally, I’m not a big pearl-clutcher over teen/unmarried sex. I don’t instruct my teens that it’s stupid and careless, merely that it’s not a small matter and can come with consequences that last a lifetime. I don’t think it’s impossible to instruct teens in using condoms without also giving them condoms for free. Teens don’t appear to be having difficulty getting alcohol, cigarrettes, Juuls, drugs, pornography and who-knows-what-else, despite not being able to legally obtain these items and despite them costing money. It’s hard for me to see how a kid who manages to keep up a vaping habit would not also be able to buy sex wrappers. 

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54 minutes ago, Quill said:

No, that does not make sense to me. We don’t debase our expectations because someone had different experiences, negative experiences. That’s like saying, “Well, this boy grew up with parents who smoked cigarettes, in a neighborhood full of people who also smoked, in fact, he has not had one steady figure in his life who does not smoke, so we should give him vaping supplies so maybe he will take up vaping instead of cigarettes.” 

Personally, I’m not a big pearl-clutcher over teen/unmarried sex. I don’t instruct my teens that it’s stupid and careless, merely that it’s not a small matter and can come with consequences that last a lifetime. I don’t think it’s impossible to instruct teens in using condoms without also giving them condoms for free. Teens don’t appear to be having difficulty getting alcohol, cigarrettes, Juuls, drugs, pornography and who-knows-what-else, despite not being able to legally obtain these items and despite them costing money. It’s hard for me to see how a kid who manages to keep up a vaping habit would not also be able to buy sex wrappers. 

I think because in the case of the drugs, the drug is the experience they're seeking. Without the drug, the experience doesn't exist so they seek it out. In the case of sex, sex is the experience they're seeking. Condoms are just a side thing. The sex - the experience they're actually seeking - is free.

I find it hard to conceive of people who can't think ahead to consequences to that extent. But also, I was raised in a loving home with enough to eat. I was always going to pass that marshmallow test. But all the studies now say that the marshmallow test is a function of poverty and wealth. And it's the same thing for condoms.

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40 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I think because in the case of the drugs, the drug is the experience they're seeking. Without the drug, the experience doesn't exist so they seek it out. In the case of sex, sex is the experience they're seeking. Condoms are just a side thing. The sex - the experience they're actually seeking - is free.

I find it hard to conceive of people who can't think ahead to consequences to that extent. But also, I was raised in a loving home with enough to eat. I was always going to pass that marshmallow test. But all the studies now say that the marshmallow test is a function of poverty and wealth. And it's the same thing for condoms.

But giving out condoms at school does not guarantee they are there when the marshmallow is presented. The kid still has to be thinking ahead enough to seek out condoms from the nurse and perhaps survive the embarassment of the nurse knowing they are coming in to get them, and, should they go access them repeatedly, then the nurse knows that, too. If being well able to think forward is the obstacle, getting them at school from the nurse vs getting them from a corner store are not drastically different; both requiring some planning and having one’s act together enough to secure the needed items and bring them along and use them when the moment is at hand. There is such a thing as having a drawer full of condoms but not using them, either because the drawer full of condoms is not where the person is when needed or because simple willfullness makes the person choose not. 

I was also a kid who would have passed the marshmallow test but at least one of my siblings probably wouldn’t have, though we were raised in the same environment, which was relative poverty (relative to our low middle class social class). Also, self-discipline is a skill that can be learned, no matter how one begins. 

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14 minutes ago, Quill said:

But giving out condoms at school does not guarantee they are there when the marshmallow is presented. The kid still has to be thinking ahead enough to seek out condoms from the nurse and perhaps survive the embarassment of the nurse knowing they are coming in to get them, and, should they go access them repeatedly, then the nurse knows that, too. If being well able to think forward is the obstacle, getting them at school from the nurse vs getting them from a corner store are not drastically different; both requiring some planning and having one’s act together enough to secure the needed items and bring them along and use them when the moment is at hand. There is such a thing as having a drawer full of condoms but not using them, either because the drawer full of condoms is not where the person is when needed or because simple willfullness makes the person choose not. 

I was also a kid who would have passed the marshmallow test but at least one of my siblings probably wouldn’t have, though we were raised in the same environment, which was relative poverty (relative to our low middle class social class). Also, self-discipline is a skill that can be learned, no matter how one begins. 

My primary point is that the argument that young people will pay for or get some things, therefore they will also find ways to pay for or get condoms is very weak. I don't think it holds water.

Are there still barriers? Sure. But I'm in favor of removing as many barriers as possible. Whether or removing those barriers works has been one of the major topics of this thread, obviously. I have to admit that I don't fully care if the evidence supports that it helps ever so much or not. I think it's worth a try regardless. The cost is low, the potential benefit is high. Other people have other takes on it based on the data and their various moral beliefs, which have been pretty well explored, I think.

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On 1/22/2019 at 1:28 PM, Bluegoat said:

 

If family life is being compared to single life doing your own thing, I tend to agree, on a macro scale.

There are other possibilities though for the celibate.  Military life.  Being a scholar.  Something like monasticism.  All of those involve purpose and living in community.

I have wondered if going on in coming years this sort of thing might become important. I think we are going to have to look at a worldwide slow decline in human population.  On the other hand, I am not sure that very small families as the norm is really best.  But those two thoughts together would tend to lead to a lot of people living in some meaningful way without a family to be that stabilising element.

I know plenty of people who maintain family type relationships without contributing to the global population. People who live with and take care of their parents as they age, people who help take care of and provide for nieces and nephews (without necessarily having any legal obligation to do so) people who form proxy families with peers and with younger people in friend/mentor situations; people who simply settle down as a couple with someone, without kids but with companionship (one friend I have in mine remained consciously child-free, but was married at one point and after divorce and a break from being in a LTR has been in a long-term live-in relationship for over a decade; she's in her late 40's); people who choose to live in polyamorous, multigenerational, or other extended/expanded family households (ex: my younger sisters shared a household for a number of years. One was married, the other a single mom. The married one has a child now, but that niece came along several years after this arrangement started); people who only have one child but who go on to help care for grandkids; people who adopt. There are at least seven people in the world who call my mother "mom" and she only gave birth to 3 of us. 

If the laws would catch up and let more than 2 people at a time adopt/take legal responsibility to act as guardian for a child (with the consent of existing parents of course), there would be more security available for such arrangements, to the benefit of the children involved.

The "modern" nuclear family is an accident of history, and not the only answer to how to have families, keep people connected in families over the life course, and raise children. It's not even a very good answer, with the way elders and childless people can fall through the cracks, the lack of safety net when reality falls short of the ideal, the importance it places on sex over any other kind of loving human interaction, and the remaining vestiges of ownership of women and children that cling to it out of the patriarchal feudal system that preceded it..

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

My primary point is that the argument that young people will pay for or get some things, therefore they will also find ways to pay for or get condoms is very weak. I don't think it holds water.

Are there still barriers? Sure. But I'm in favor of removing as many barriers as possible. Whether or removing those barriers works has been one of the major topics of this thread, obviously. I have to admit that I don't fully care if the evidence supports that it helps ever so much or not. I think it's worth a try regardless. The cost is low, the potential benefit is high. Other people have other takes on it based on the data and their various moral beliefs, which have been pretty well explored, I think.

But why would we (society we) want to make yet one more instance of the responsible, fully mature people sweeping away the consequences of the less responsible, less mature people’s actions? Why do we want to say, “Oh, we see you can’t plan accordingly to protect your own health and prevent undesired babies, so we’ll make it as easy as possible to see that you suffer no ill effects of your own decisions.” It’s more treating young people as though they are impulsive imbeciles. And what happens when these young people graduate high school or drop out of high school? Do they then complain that the govt. is not providing condoms at health clinics for free? 

I think removing barriers for functional adults is one of the things we’re doing wrong as a society. 

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20 minutes ago, Quill said:

But why would we (society we) want to make yet one more instance of the responsible, fully mature people sweeping away the consequences of the less responsible, less mature people’s actions? Why do we want to say, “Oh, we see you can’t plan accordingly to protect your own health and prevent undesired babies, so we’ll make it as easy as possible to see that you suffer no ill effects of your own decisions.” It’s more treating young people as though they are impulsive imbeciles. And what happens when these young people graduate high school or drop out of high school? Do they then complain that the govt. is not providing condoms at health clinics for free? 

I think removing barriers for functional adults is one of the things we’re doing wrong as a society. 

Because there is the potential for an innocent baby to brought into a bad situation or for an abortion to occur. I’m all for letting people suffer the consequences of their immature actions. But they are not the ones with the most potential for harm or suffering when it comes to unprotected sex. Sure, a few might rise to the occasion and with enough support (if available), be able to parent effectively. But we know the reality is that many will not. And all of us will potentially pay down the road for their irresponsibility.

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45 minutes ago, Quill said:

But why would we (society we) want to make yet one more instance of the responsible, fully mature people sweeping away the consequences of the less responsible, less mature people’s actions? Why do we want to say, “Oh, we see you can’t plan accordingly to protect your own health and prevent undesired babies, so we’ll make it as easy as possible to see that you suffer no ill effects of your own decisions.” It’s more treating young people as though they are impulsive imbeciles. And what happens when these young people graduate high school or drop out of high school? Do they then complain that the govt. is not providing condoms at health clinics for free? 

I think removing barriers for functional adults is one of the things we’re doing wrong as a society. 

 

Because the net cost of free condoms is a heck of a lot cheaper than the net cost of the consequences of kids not using them-  disease and teen pregnancy, which often comes with medicaid for pregnancy and childbirth, nurse visits to the home covered by that medicaid, pediatric care for the child, and, IME, unfortunately often foster care which brings the expense of social workers, parenting classes, rehab, multiple lawyers and judges, foster parents, WIC for the baby, paying for daycare, etc. Schools leaving fishbowls of free condoms in the bathrooms or handing them out for free costs NOTHING in comparison.

Many teen girls in foster care are there because they got thrown out of their parents house when they got pregnant, which is ANOTHER additional layer of the same costs involved. Others just make just as irresponsible decisions with their infants as they did when they got pregnant, leading babies to be in care for months while social workers figure out who in the family can be trusted with the infant.

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1 hour ago, Ravin said:

I know plenty of people who maintain family type relationships without contributing to the global population. People who live with and take care of their parents as they age, people who help take care of and provide for nieces and nephews (without necessarily having any legal obligation to do so) people who form proxy families with peers and with younger people in friend/mentor situations; people who simply settle down as a couple with someone, without kids but with companionship (one friend I have in mine remained consciously child-free, but was married at one point and after divorce and a break from being in a LTR has been in a long-term live-in relationship for over a decade; she's in her late 40's); people who choose to live in polyamorous, multigenerational, or other extended/expanded family households (ex: my younger sisters shared a household for a number of years. One was married, the other a single mom. The married one has a child now, but that niece came along several years after this arrangement started); people who only have one child but who go on to help care for grandkids; people who adopt. There are at least seven people in the world who call my mother "mom" and she only gave birth to 3 of us. 

If the laws would catch up and let more than 2 people at a time adopt/take legal responsibility to act as guardian for a child (with the consent of existing parents of course), there would be more security available for such arrangements, to the benefit of the children involved.

The "modern" nuclear family is an accident of history, and not the only answer to how to have families, keep people connected in families over the life course, and raise children. It's not even a very good answer, with the way elders and childless people can fall through the cracks, the lack of safety net when reality falls short of the ideal, the importance it places on sex over any other kind of loving human interaction, and the remaining vestiges of ownership of women and children that cling to it out of the patriarchal feudal system that preceded it..

 

I think multi-generational and other wider family nets will likely become more common.  It's also been common in many societies for people who don't marry to have other social institutions that provide some of that function.

As far as family law catching up - that's possible in some ways.  I don't think though that ad hoc arrangements will ever be able to be a primary model for a society.  That sounds lively to westerners who have been raised with a lot of respect for individualism, but my strong suspicion is that it wouldn't work as anything other than an exception.

 

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18 minutes ago, Katy said:

 

Because the net cost of free condoms is a heck of a lot cheaper than the net cost of the consequences of kids not using them-  disease and teen pregnancy, which often comes with medicaid for pregnancy and childbirth, nurse visits to the home covered by that medicaid, pediatric care for the child, and, IME, unfortunately often foster care which brings the expense of social workers, parenting classes, rehab, multiple lawyers and judges, foster parents, WIC for the baby, paying for daycare, etc. Schools leaving fishbowls of free condoms in the bathrooms or handing them out for free costs NOTHING in comparison.

Many teen girls in foster care are there because they got thrown out of their parents house when they got pregnant, which is ANOTHER additional layer of the same costs involved. Others just make just as irresponsible decisions with their infants as they did when they got pregnant, leading babies to be in care for months while social workers figure out who in the family can be trusted with the infant.

And meanwhile, the critical first three years of the baby life are potentially spent in chaos and dysfunction.

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I think there are two lenses through which to look at this. One is moral - people should be responsible for themselves, no one else has any obligation to do anything if they don't want, and if they aren't then they should suffer the consequences and no one else. The other is practical - who cares if they *should* when innocent children will suffer and taxpayers will end up paying, whatever the cheapest solution is to the problem (in this case, buying free condoms for everyone in the nation might even be cheaper than paying the costs in STI treatment and for unwanted children, especially if you consider the cost of those children when they grow up if they were raised in difficult, unloving circumstances instead of being adopted) we should just do that and not worry too much about the moral implications.

Of course - some people want a little of both - a safety net that keeps "the worst" (whatever that is in the situation or to the viewer) from happening while still placing the primary responsibility on individuals. Or want policy that will encourage people to take responsibility rather than letting the government take it themselves. So, say, condoms in some situations/schools/clinics, but not all. Or free prenatal care for unwanted pregnancies. Or free STI/STD treatment for people below a certain income.

I have no (and I really mean no) innate moral issue with consenting older teens having sex. So that's definitely informing my thinking. I think most people in this thread would rather teens not have sex. I genuinely don't care.

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4 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

The problem is when that is ALL the schools do.  Schools need to do MORE than leave out fishbowls of condoms in order to be effective.  And that is where the real expense comes in.  But studies linked earlier show that if all schools do is leave condoms out (which yes costs nothing and is easier) it actually has the opposite effect.  If schools want to leave out fishbowls of condoms, they have to commit to having additional programs in place for education in order to be effective.  Which of course makes one wonder....is it the education program effective without the fishbowls of condoms?

Hasn't this been repeatedly said by pretty much every single person in the thread advocating for the condom distribution that we also support comprehensive education? At this point, can we all assume that all of us advocating for the condoms also support comprehensive sex ed?

As to the condoms, I'll stand by my previous answer that, I guess it would be good to know which aspects help the most and put the money there if it's limited. But since the condoms, as you point out, are one of the cheaper parts and have the largest potential payoff... I can't bring myself to be against them. There definitely are teens who have no money, who are going to have sex. I'd like them to have the condoms. Even if it doesn't statistically help as much as comprehensive sex ed.

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

I think there are two lenses through which to look at this. One is moral - people should be responsible for themselves, no one else has any obligation to do anything if they don't want, and if they aren't then they should suffer the consequences and no one else. The other is practical - who cares if they *should* when innocent children will suffer and taxpayers will end up paying, whatever the cheapest solution is to the problem (in this case, buying free condoms for everyone in the nation might even be cheaper than paying the costs in STI treatment and for unwanted children, especially if you consider the cost of those children when they grow up if they were raised in difficult, unloving circumstances instead of being adopted) we should just do that and not worry too much about the moral implications.

Of course - some people want a little of both - a safety net that keeps "the worst" (whatever that is in the situation or to the viewer) from happening while still placing the primary responsibility on individuals. Or want policy that will encourage people to take responsibility rather than letting the government take it themselves. So, say, condoms in some situations/schools/clinics, but not all. Or free prenatal care for unwanted pregnancies. Or free STI/STD treatment for people below a certain income.

I have no (and I really mean no) innate moral issue with consenting older teens having sex. So that's definitely informing my thinking. I think most people in this thread would rather teens not have sex. I genuinely don't care.

Those two lenses are a false dichotomy. I am much more practical than I am interested in moral arguments, but in practicality, it matters whether or not a proposed solution will end in the hoped-for outcome. Having access to condoms, even if they are free, does not necessarily mean they will be used in the desired manner with the optimal result. If a teen gets some free condoms and even uses them a few times but then doesn’t use them because (any reason - doesn’t go get more, is embarassed to go get more, gets more but leaves them in his book bag, gets more but doesn’t want to use them and partner doesn’t insist), then that person is risking undesired outcomes. 

 

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5 hours ago, Katy said:

 

Because the net cost of free condoms is a heck of a lot cheaper than the net cost of the consequences of kids not using them-  disease and teen pregnancy, which often comes with medicaid for pregnancy and childbirth, nurse visits to the home covered by that medicaid, pediatric care for the child, and, IME, unfortunately often foster care which brings the expense of social workers, parenting classes, rehab, multiple lawyers and judges, foster parents, WIC for the baby, paying for daycare, etc. Schools leaving fishbowls of free condoms in the bathrooms or handing them out for free costs NOTHING in comparison.

Many teen girls in foster care are there because they got thrown out of their parents house when they got pregnant, which is ANOTHER additional layer of the same costs involved. Others just make just as irresponsible decisions with their infants as they did when they got pregnant, leading babies to be in care for months while social workers figure out who in the family can be trusted with the infant.

Having them available does not equate to their use. 

Also, we are ignoring that there are reasons some people do not use condoms beyond not having the money or the ability to get them. A lot of young women even want to have babies and do not care if there is no dad. I remember once, in a college class when the professor asked a young black man why he thinks the incidence of fatherless children in the poor black communities was such a problem, he indicated that if he were to meet an attractive young black woman in her twenties who did not yet have a baby, he would wonder what was the matter with her. 

ETA: changed the wording because someone was concerned I was mocking a black man

Edited by Quill
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2 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

The reason I keep bringing bringing it up is because it keeps being said that putting condoms out is inexpensive.  But if we are talking about a comprehensive sex education, that’s going to be more expensive, which makes the effective solution more expensive than throwing some condoms in some fishbowls.  

Now, that doesn’t mean I am against sex ed programs, whether they include condoms or not.  It only means I am against throwing condoms in fishbowls and thinking that’s a cheap way to help.  If condoms only is going to increase teen pregnancies and std rates, then I am against that (therefore, against the “cheap” solution) because it wastes money and is not part of the solution.  

The Howard County Maryland school system has had comprehensive sex education since at least the 1970’s. (I went to school there. I recently met with a couple of health teachers from middle schools and high school there. It’s comprehensive.) Also, in the 1980’s there were condoms in the schools. 

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