Free Condoms for Youth

Jodi - posted on 01/28/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )

3,562

36

3907

I was talking to someone I know the other day, and he has a 13 year old daughter. Somehow, we got onto the topic of teens and sex (don't ask me how the conversation got there, I can't remember). Keep in mind I have a 12 year old son, who also has a few friends who are 13. We were discussing the problems of teens, the pressures of sex, etc.

ANyway, I didn't realise.....our local Youth centre gives out condoms for free to kids aged 12 and 13 without question. They are not required to talk to anyone first, they are entitled to the rights of privacy, so their parents are not permitted any information, they just hand the condoms over for these kids.

What are your thoughts?

To be honest, I'm a little mixed on the issue....while I understand WHY they do this, I personally would be absolutely horrified if I found out they were doing this for my 12 year old without my knowledge and the ability for me to talk to him about it......... (but then, my 12 year old is not anywhere much on his own yet, so its unlikely to happen)....

I'm just curious as to what you guys think. Will it really solve the problems? Or will it encourage them? Keep in mind, we live in a pretty good area, in fact, a reasonably low crime, high income city......

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Sarah - posted on 01/29/2010

5,465

31

344

I think handing condoms out is a good idea.
I want my girls to hold onto their virginity for a LONG as possible, but, if they choose to ignore my wonderful advice, then i'd rather they used a condom!!
I don't think handing out condoms is going to encourage them, the thoughts are probably already there!
It's tricky coz no-one likes to think of their little darlings growing up and having sex, but i guess it's better to be safe than sorry! :)

Jocelyn - posted on 01/28/2010

5,165

42

275

I agree with the free condoms. In my opinion if a kid really wants to have sex, they are going to have sex, with or without protection. If the protection is free then it might be enough to prevent a few oops babies.

?? - posted on 01/28/2010

4,974

0

172

At 12-13, the kids I know, they use condoms as water balloons... but I know there are some that are sexually active and if they can get free condoms, know how to use them, and actually care enough to get them - I think that is a good thing.

Children are becoming more experimental with the lowering age of innocence in this day and age. Parents are more ready to 'trust' their tweens and brand new teenagers to have boyfriends and girlfriends, be alone in rooms, and kids are more ready and willing to experiement at school, at the park, where ever.

Sex is everywhere these days and there just isn't enough education going around for the children who's parents are more absent than participating in their lives. So if the youth centers can help provide the means of protection those children need - I don't see anything wrong with it and I absolutely encourage them to continue making that protection available for the children who didn't get the education, or don't have the influence to make them care about the education -- at least they're trying to be safe about it and that's more than some............. if COMs has taught us anything -- there are A LOT of stupid people reproducing when they were not ready... of all ages... that 1 condom can prevent another druggie mom, I'm ok with that.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

24 Comments

View replies by

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/16/2012

21,273

9

3058

****Locking thread, this is an oldie. Feel free to start a new one******



DM MoD ~Little Miss~

**Jackie** - posted on 03/16/2012

953

1

18

Absolutely. Raise your hand if you were having sex at age 14. (mine is raised) I wasn't comfortable talking to my mom so I went to the clinic and they handed me a brown paper bag (identical to the one that held my ham and cheese sandwich for lunch) loaded with condoms. It was also that same brown bag that my mom saw in my room and decided to confront me and get me on the pill.



I'll never forget what she said to me "I'm disappointed in your actions regarding sex...but thank you for at least giving a damn about your future"



Kids are going to have sex...they just are.

Lady Heather - posted on 03/16/2012

2,448

17

91

I am so a yes on this. There should be free condom trucks at all the high schools. It would be nice if all teenagers were willing to talk to an adult to access a condom, but that's just not reality. Better they are protected from disease and babies.



I bet 75% of the free condoms end up as water balloons anyways.

Debra - posted on 03/16/2012

62

30

4

i hope that you have engaged your child in a conversation about sex. You want your child to ask you questions. If they don't get the answers from you, the alternative is that they will seek out their questions with their friends, or on the internet by looking at porn sites. I doubt that is what you wish. As an educator (RN) we promote parents to engage their children in conversation already by age 8 or 9. Proper names for their anatomy should always be used so that they are comfortable with their bodies and learn how to respect themselves and others. Children who seek out condoms at the local youth centre may be comfortable using them if they have never had their parent REALLY talk to them about sex in an open and non-judgemental way. The worst thing you can do is not talk to your child or pretend that they are not going through puberty, hormonal changes or are a sexual being.

Krista - posted on 01/29/2010

12,562

16

847

No, that's cool, Veronica. I was just interested in what you meant. I also very much appreciate that you don't sit there and tell others what to do. I've had some bad experiences with people who are against contraception, as they've tried to impose that belief on everybody around them. Kudos to you for doing what's right for you and allowing everybody else to do what's right for them.

Charlie - posted on 01/28/2010

11,203

111

409

Although i disagree with everyone not using contraception , although personal choices are your own IMO , i have found your posts very insightful and interesting Veronica :)

Veronica - posted on 01/28/2010

1,539

61

94

Yes, married couples too.

But im not going to sit here and tell others what they should and shouldnt do - its not my place. SO, as for myself, and husband - we dont use birth control- because we are very much against it. I believe that some of it is and causes abortion, birth defects; are precursors for breast, cervical and ovarian cancer, low-bone-density, preeclampsia, and ectopic pregnancy. I choose not to use them- i dont want to damage my body, or put it into an unnatural state. (changed hormones/no periods) I also choose no, because in my faith (not religion) - me and my husband are to remain open to each other and allow and accept each new gift of a child that is given to us through the Lord's will. He says to be fruitful, procreate -- and that is what we are doing. We use NFP - for spacing - and it helps with self-respect, learning about our fertility, and learning about each other. We have a deep love and respect for each other - - which is what keeps us open to children becuase we love each other soo much - and its like a gift.



I didnt mean to go there on this thread -- but i needed to explain what i meant by that. Im not here to convince anyone of anything. This is what i go by -- and what i believe -- and that is where my view is coming from. Whether anyone agrees or not - its how we veiw it - im not here to tell you your wrong/right or whatever. Take it as you see fit.

Krista - posted on 01/28/2010

12,562

16

847

Are you against it for married couples as well? I'm just curious -- most people who are against birth control tend to only be thinking of unmarried couples and/or teenagers, forgetting that a lot of married couples use it too.

Veronica - posted on 01/28/2010

1,539

61

94

I just feel there are alternatives - than just bc -- as for this particular post - becuase not everyone looks at it the same as i do -- or there are people who dont take time to take care of their own children -- then society has to step in and do teh best they are legally allowed to do. As someone mentioned earlier, schools cant even talk about sex -- so the odds are against the kids anyways -- to help prevent aids/more kids having kids - then I can reason with why this measure has to be taken. As i well know - the state ends up being the ones paying for that child's child. OK.



Just giving you my views on what I personally feel in my own mind - especially with my own kids. BUT also how i feel generally about kids as a whole, in this world.



Please let me know if i need to clarify further.

Veronica - posted on 01/28/2010

1,539

61

94

Yes, im against all contraceptives - pill/shot/ring/patch/iud(hormonal/copper/regular)/condoms/spermacides/diaphrams/norplant (or whatever that is called)/withdrawal method

It isnt that kids dont know what sex is - it relates back to what the parents are or are not teaching their kids about sex.

IN general - as i said at the end of my post - i think society does what it has to, where parents lack to do. So, i agree with condoms for those measures.

ON the other hand - im still in disagreement - and I guess its more of a personal thing - and how i intend on raising my children. I dont believe in birth control. I believe in self-respect for the body, abstinence, self control, responsibility - the list goes on. I dont know how i would respond to finding condoms with my kids - from free handouts -or other sources - i will cross that bridge if it comes to me. In the meantime - this is just how i feel about it.

If you arm your children, and teach them, and show them -- you should be fine with raising well brought up teenagers. Im not afraid of being there every step of the way to make sure my children are making the right decisions -- and if they choose to go down the path of sex/pregnancy/stds -- again, I will cross that bridge when i get there. The main thing - it will be the consequence to their actions - and tehy will learn to take responsibility.

Krista - posted on 01/28/2010

12,562

16

847

Oh, and with regards to the condom thing for 12 and 13 year olds, I would assume that the vast majority of kids that age know precisely what sex is and how it works, so having access to condoms isn't going to give them ideas.

Besides, if I remember anything about being a teenager, it wasn't the lack of contraception that stopped me from having sex, it was the lack of a private place in which to get horizontal! My parents were ALWAYS around, damn them! ; )

Basically, in my opinion, a 13 year old who doesn't want to have sex isn't suddenly going to go, "Well gee...now that you've told me I can have a condom, maybe I should rethink this whole celibacy thing..." And sadly, I can't see too many 13-year-olds being mature enough to think "Well, we don't have a condom, so we just won't have sex." Nope. Instead they'll just ask the guy to pull out. (And that's the BEST-case scenario -- a lot of 13-year-olds would probably just take the gamble, as long-term forethought isn't exactly a main component of most 13-year-olds' psyches.)

Krista - posted on 01/28/2010

12,562

16

847

Veronica, you're against contraceptives in general? All contraceptives? For everybody?

Charlie - posted on 01/28/2010

11,203

111

409

Yeah i remember them giving them out when i was a teen at the local health clinic , I think its a GREAT idea , IMO Parents should have had the sex talk by then , i think the kids that need the free condoms are generally the ones who have who do not have open lines of communication with their parents and have no one else to turn to .

I think if a child ( 13 year old ) is going to have sex and has no one to talk to at least they can get the protection they need .

Veronica - posted on 01/28/2010

1,539

61

94

This is a hard one for me to answer -- mainly because Im against contraceptives. Im two sided.

On one hand, I don't like the idea of opening options to kids about birth control - I think it encourages them more, and makes it ok to go and have all the sex they want, with whomever they want it from. That is how I feel about it. I think kids are having more sex and at younger ages BECAUSE of the birth control -- 'doesnt matter this will keep me from pg/stds' -- which in fact condoms dont stop AIDS and they dont stop warts, and they are wondering about other stds passing through. And it can still rip/tear - get a hole or slip off, etc. I just all around do not agree with the idea of contraceptives.



ON the other hand - I also understand the fact that parents aren't teaching their children about sex, or enough, or anything of the matter - and therefore because society usually has to take it on - I can see how the county/city/town, etc. are working towards prevention. Do i think its right to hand out condoms - no - do I think its right to take necessary steps when idiot parents wont take care of their own children - yes.



I guess that is where i lie on it... Its just sad that it has to be reduced to that now a days...

[deleted account]

Parents should be teaching their kids about sex, but fact is there are parents out there that don't teach their kids anything. Somebody has to step up and help them. I am all for abstinence but I don't think that giving a condom to a kid will make them go out and have sex. I do think that 12 is too young for parents not to be notified. However, I taught at an elementary school and one of my favorite girls was caught with a condom in her purse...age 10.

Michelle - posted on 01/28/2010

387

38

27

I completely agree with this. I know that as a parent it's tough to deal with the thought that your preteen is thinking about sex, but unfortunately it happens so we have to move past that.
The fact that abstinence is taught is schools as the only right way is a disgrace and a tragedy. Girls are taught that if they are not completely abstinent then they have failed and are now sluts. So they just give in to it. Awful.

Teaching responsible sex and encouraging without demanding abstinence will at least teach our kids that if they do have sex they have to do it safely. It's an adult decision that they think they are ready to handle, so they need to make the adult decision to use protection every time. How will they know this if no one teaches them?

La - posted on 01/28/2010

0

0

63

I agree with Sara. By 12/13 they already have an idea of what sex is even if their parents never talked to them about it. Giving them free condoms isn't going to put ideas into anyone's head that aren't there already. As a parent you should be guiding your children to do what is best, but if they are going to do it anyway (because some kids will do it no matter what you tell them) at least they have the protection available to use.

Rosie - posted on 01/28/2010

8,657

30

321

I am all for this. i remember when i was 19 and purchasing condoms at walmart and how embarrassed i was, i couldn't imagine a 12 year old having their own money to purchase them, let alone the courage to go and actually buy them. if it saves somebody from getting pregnant or an std, it's worth it. i don't believe it makes people have sex, when you are that age and you are gonna have sex, you are going to do it -whether or not you have a condom. i believe in teaching abstinence in coordination with information about std's and pregnancy, and birthcontrol options. they need to be educated along with their free condoms though. not just handing them out willy nilly, but if that's what the youth center does than i guess it's better than nothing.

JL - posted on 01/28/2010

3,635

48

107

I have to say as someone who taught middle schoolers, the age range 11-13, who had behavioral problems and learning disabilities I agree with the free condoms being distributed. I taught 13 year olds who got pregnant or knocked up another 13 year old. I wish there could be more education on sex beforehand but the whole thought process is usually that it is up to the parents to do that and youth advisors and educators are often by policy forbidden to discuss sex with youth.



In my case we were told by principals and the school board that we had to send the child asking questions to the counselors office who then called in the principal who then called in the parents and if the parents were not willing to discuss sex or allow their kids to take a sesx education course then the kid was on their own. If I did dare to say anything I risked the possiblity of loosing my job which I did open my mouth and talk to kids who would not talk to anyone but me. I had more than one parent complain about it and their kids were the ones who ended up 13 and pregnant. The sad fact is that some kids do not have anyone guiding them in the area of sex so the availability of a condom maybe the only thing that will help them from getting pregnant or an STD.



I don't think just handing out condoms will help alleviate the issue but until more parents come around to pushing for an open discussion about sex then passing out condoms may be the only prevention method for some.



I mean we just had a school district in California re-instate Collegiate Merriam Webster dictionaries back into the schools.They had removed the dictionaries because a parent spazzed out about the dictionaries containing the definition of oral sex which she took the time to look up herself before she complained and demanded the removal of the dictionaries. If a definition is considered too racy for a 5th grader who will be in a middle school the next year then I doubt that parent will be wanting their 6th and 7th grader taking part in any sexual education discussions.

Sara - posted on 01/28/2010

9,313

50

586

I think that by the age of 12 or 13, parents should have discussed sex and the consequences of sex with their children, so giving out condoms shouldn't make a difference in how your child will act if you have done your job as a parent to educate them and discuss sex openly. That's why I don't generally have a problem with giving condoms to kids, because as Mary said, if it makes a difference in one child's life, it is worth it. I think a lot of parents don't want to think of their 12 or 13 year old having sex, but it's reality.

ME - posted on 01/28/2010

2,978

18

193

At the teen mom's residential treatment center where I worked for 2 years out in denver...we had a 14 year old pregnant with her second baby...we had several 14-16 year olds with toddlers...I don't know that giving them condoms would have prevented all of these pregnancies, but it might have prevented a couple, and THAT would have been a success in my opinion, because NONE of these little girls could offer their children the lives that they deserved! What we are doing now does not work...throwing condoms at the problem won't fix it, I'm sure, but I don't see how it can hurt!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms