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Lucas Avelleda

Athlete, International Shotokan Karate Federation

TEDCRED 500+

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Should High Schools implement condom availability programs?

This is a controversial and polemic approach to reduce rates of sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy among teenagers. Data from different sources has shown that is at the age of fifteen, on average, that teenagers have their first sexual relation. However, condoms are not used by most of them (in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, it is used by only 56% of the individuals aged between 13 and 18).
The condom availability program appears not to have produced an increase in sexual activity among high school students, and it appears to have led to improved condom use. Nevertheless, social and political aspects play a role on this issue.

Is the program necessary?
Since it's a public health issue, should religion and cultural aspects interfere?
Is it moral from your point of view? Why?
Pros and cons

I'm a 17 year old student from Brazil and I'm looking for opinions about this issue that could help me and my school's student council to discuss with the administration the implementation of the condom availability program for High School students.
Thank you!

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    Drew B

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    Mar 29 2011: I agree with you guys but then again numbers show a person and a partner are more likely to have sex if they feel protected so why not stop the issue and remove protection until someone is ready to share sex inside of a marriageable ground. But by giving out condoms you are basically saying its ok to do it we are just trying to help
    • Apr 1 2011: Drew, I bascially agree with you that the best thing to do is to wait until you are ready to share 'sex'. There are two problems with this though:
      1. The definition of 'marriageable ground', as you call it, is probably something we will never agree on and each person has to define for himself. I'm sure if you ask two teenagers madly in love, they will both tell you that they can imagine marrying the other person. What are the critera for 'marriageable ground'? How do you define it?
      2. Despite the noble idea of 'waiting' for the right person, statistics show: People DON'T wait. No matter how much parents and teachers want them to. So while I do think it's important that parents, teachers and spiritual leaders explain to kids the importance of waiting for the right person, it's equally important to provide the means of safe sex, should they decide they are ready.

      I grew up in Germany and starting in 8th grade, we had condoms readily available (for free) at school following a one-week seminar on 'Love'. Yes, love, not sex. It covered the classic 'birds and bees' issues, biological aspects and all. But it also dealt with the emotional side, relationships, trust, dealing with disappointment, etc. I thought the combination of the two was so important!
      And btw, for a country that quite freely deals with sex and all that goes with it (condom vending machines!), you might find it interesting that despite all of that, German kids are having their first sex at 17,6 years. In the US, scores more conservative in that department, it's 18 years. And in the UK it's 18,3.
      A bit more food for thought:
      The US leads the western world in teenage pregnancy incidents and 1 in 4 teenage girls who participated in abstinence programs have or have had an STD in their life. If that doesn't make a decent case for encouraging condom use, I don't know what does.

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