You know what’s great? Low teen pregnancy rates. And what’s even greater? That those rates are low not because abstinence-only education is working (it’s not, by the way), but because teens are wising up about condoms and other forms of birth control–and because schools are finally getting the message that kids are going to have sex. It’s just a thing they do. Which is why it’s really great to read that some high schools have been providing free condoms after prom.
Some schools have their own programs, while others are turning to condom makers for help. Earlier this month, NuVo Condoms released a message to high schools: if you want to provide condoms after the prom, but don’t want to spend money to do it, we will give you all the freaking rubbers you want. Because, said the love-glove brand, while they don’t condone sex between minors, the fact is that one in five seventeen year olds is planning to have sex for the first time on prom night. May as well provide them with protection, right?
Of course, those who preach abstinence-only education (also commonly referred to as “The Aspirin Between The Knees Method“) aren’t happy about the move; they believe that providing options for pregnancy prevention will make kids have more sex, which is really how sex or teenagers work. Statistically speaking, a message of “just say no” without any follow-up doesn’t do much to keep horny teens from pawing at each other after a long night of dancing to Katy Perry, and, in fact, can get kids into trouble.
Not only do areas where only abstinence is taught (read: kids don’t learn about how to put on condoms, or even what does and does not put a woman at risk of pregnancy) tend to have higher pregnancy rates, but when kids are educated about how to prevent pregnancy if they do have sex, they almost always make the right decision and use a condom or other form of contraceptive.
Having a condom in a purse or pocket isn’t going to make a teen who’s already made up their mind more likely to have sex–but it does make it way more likely that the kid will engage in safe sex. And really, if the choice comes down to a prom pregnancy or not, picking the pragmatic outcome and giving away condoms seems like the right choice.
Image: Jiri Hera via Shutterstock