T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 33
posted 06-30-2001 07:41 PM
I personally feel this is a brilliant idea, but I have a feeling it would never happen in the States.
What do you think? It's the age-old question: Does providing kids with condoms condone or encourage sexual behavior?
~lemming, Scarleteen Advocate
want to know the inner lemming? read her diary at
http://innerlemming.diaryland.com/. "Is love like the sweet, bitter taste of marmalade on burnt toast?"
Member # 2971
posted 06-30-2001 09:10 PM
I think this is a good idea. Teens are going to have sex, no one can stop it, so we might as well help to make sure it's safe sex.
"A six foot tall anorexic bimbo,with plastic breasts is making me feel weird about my own body." -Miss Bif Naked
Member # 1207
posted 06-30-2001 10:24 PM
Hmm ... I think it should be free. We have to pay insanely high activity fees here, so why not include the cost of condoms in the activity fee? Sex can be considered a school activity ... sometimes
Member # 1896
posted 07-01-2001 03:08 AM
I personally think schools should dispense condoms for free. Condom machines in schools are a good second choice, even though I wonder whether they would be necessary over here (because you can get condoms everywhere anyway), but from the number of posts we see here of people wondering where to get condoms and whether you need to be 18 for in the US for that, I bet US schools could all do with some condom machines.
And nope, from the studies that I have seen and read, neither providing birth control nor educating people over birth control does increase sexual activity. It does, however, send the message that if and when people decide to be sexually active, they should do so safely - and what better message is there to send?
Caro ~spanking new Scarleteen Sexpert~
"We must become the change we want to see."
Member # 94
posted 07-01-2001 05:56 AM
The only thing those machines will encourage in schools is the blowing up of condoms like balloons.
Outside of school though, it will encourage SAFE sex (and whatever some people might believe, sex is going to happen for some people whether condoms are present or not), so I think it would be a step in the right direction. However, aren't vending machines not the best place to store condoms? It would be better if teenagers had a way to obtain them from a place where they were kept in better conditions.
Member # 1896
posted 07-01-2001 06:33 AM
These are very good points, Bep.
I actually think the "blowing up condoms as balloons" thing would wear off pretty quickly, once people have gotten used to the condoms ebing around. And who'd have the money to blow them up all the bloody time and not use them?
I agree though, that the condom machines would need maintenance, i.e. someone would need to make sure that the condoms in there are stored at ok temperatures (depends on where you put up the machine) and that they are still fresh and all.
Or can you imagine the type of lawsuit that might arise? Parents sue school district for a few million dollars because they provided condoms that tore because they were stored wrongly for too long.....
Member # 2566
posted 07-01-2001 01:15 PM
i think having condoms at school for sale would be a good thing.
but cheaply, yes. because if a kid had to buy them, they would be less likely to fool around with them (blow them up, put em on ppls chairs, throw em around) i know things like that would happen in my school if they were free...or like, someone would steal them all.
maybe every teacher/administrater/nurse/director in the school would be given some, and a kid could go to those he trusted to get them...that way they won't be sitting around in a vending machine.
or even, have a safer sex club (which i hope to start) that would meet every week and people who wanted condoms could get them from kids, as well as get some good safer sex information. the club could write to major condom manufacturers and see if they could give donations of lube/condoms/dental dams...so they would be free....or...the club could hold condom sales (like bake sales) to raise money to help educate the school and community about safer sex practices.
ooo i'm getting my leadership juices going...rawking.
have i been wrong? have i been wise? to shut my eyes and play along?
Member # 3072
posted 07-01-2001 02:14 PM
Yup, it would definitely be a good idea, even though it may seem pretty unlikely for us out here in the US.
The entire concept that the availability of birth control "makes" people have sex is ludicrous. When I was in high school, I had access to condoms at every convienence store that I went to. Yet I didn't have sex because I didn't
want to. And those who did have sex, did so because they wanted to. It is as simple as that.
I was encouraged by statements that the United States Surgeon General made a while ago about how we need to step up and have a more open discourse of sexual activity. He seemed to want to open the door to a more realistic approach of sex, and sexual behavior in teenagers. This gives me hope that one day we may just see condoms in schools, as farfetched as that may seem today.
"Verdugo, Engine 14; you can cancel all units responding to this structure fire...this is just a dishwasher gone bad." BruinDan's Blog! ICQ# 3953848
Member # 631
posted 07-01-2001 07:45 PM
Yeah, that sounds like a really good idea, and not just in US, I'd say pretty much in every country.
Ok, it's unlikely to see that in US but here in Canada it wouldn't be unrealistic. It could actually happen because there's a lot of concern in that sense, about health in general.
But as Alaska said, maybe machines wouldn't be the best place to store them, or they could be sold at a place where teens can get all sorts of stuff, like school materials. As in my college, we have a cooperative store where they sell all kinds of stuff for school, as well as condoms and tampons.
Machines could be used as an alternative, like having both places to buy and let the "clients" choose where they get them, at the same price.
Exit Seraphim is also right when he says that compagnies should donate the condoms, lube, and dental dams to the schools, they'd show in that way that they really care about their clients.
- I hope I shall be able to confide in you completely, as I have never been able to do in anyone before, and I hope that you will be a great support and comfort to me.
Anne Frank to her journal
Member # 3
posted 07-01-2001 08:05 PM
Justine, those are fabulous ideas. Rawkin, indeed.
I actually agree that selling them -- even for a pittance -- is a good idea. Why? Because it gets you used to the idea that you do have to budget to have a responsible sex life, and it also places some value on condoms. REsources for places to get them for free (like at many community centers and PP clinics) listted where they're sold would be beneficial to those just really strapped. But hey, you could charge a quarter for them. Save the seriusly poverty-ridden (and you could also base this on communnity economics) most teens I encounter and see have a better budget than *I* do.
Heather Corinna Editor and Founder, Scarleteen My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson
Member # 3815
posted 07-01-2001 08:19 PM
What my school district has yet to realize is that all the abstinence training, all the STD scare-us-away-from-sex things that they do will
never keep teens from having sex. Nobody plans on having an STD, just like tougher sentences really don't affect robbers - they don't plan on getting caught. Teens just say "Oh, that could never happen to me, I'll have sex anyway." I think the only way to keep teen pregnancy/STD spread down is to promote safe sex programs, not only abstinence programs (in which they essentially told us all sex was ok and safe except penis-in-vagina, and we really didn't need protection for them, it was just an extra ), which currently do not exist at all in my district. At all. Because honestly? Teens will have sex, no matter what. If the schools truly cared about their students, they would teach us how to have sex more safely.
So yeah, I think the condoms are definitely a good idea...but we'd probably end up with Trojans
[This message has been edited by AngelElisheva (edited 07-02-2001).]
Member # 3133
posted 07-02-2001 12:51 AM
Even though it might seem that having condoms in school is promotiong sex at least it's promoting safe sex. At least you know that if teens are buying condoms they are practicing safe sex. I think that just b/c a school is selling condoms it doesn't mean that every teenager out there is going to have sex b/c the school is selling them. It's just an easier way of getting condoms.
Member # 3
posted 07-02-2001 09:03 AM
I remember the one year I was in a large public high school that the cefeteria had vending machines full of junk food, served greasy, grimmy meaty lunches, lots of sodas, etc.
Now, knowing I didn't want to eat those things, I simply never did. having them around certainly didn't make me want to eat them more, nor did their availability make them tempting, as I knew what I wanted for myself in terms of my own eating habits.
Could we have said the school was promoting crap eating? Maybe, but no one forced it down my throat. And I think the same holds true with selling condoms. Someone who needs them and wants to use them will then have an avenue to get them. Someone who is not interested in sex, will likely not be reconsidering because there are condoms at school.
Heather Corinna Editor and Founder, Scarleteen My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson
Member # 785
posted 07-02-2001 09:07 AM
Providing kids with condoms condones and encourages RESPONSIBLE sexual activity. Some kids don't use condoms simply because they are afraid to walk into a store and buy them. It would be great if you could go to your school and confidentially buy some condoms so you and your partner would be safe. I agree though, it would never happen in America.
I don't know about the vending machines...I think maybe you should have to go to the school guidance couselor or something to buy them, so it would be private and confidential. Machines makes it seem too...commercial or something.
Member # 3836
posted 07-02-2001 12:59 PM
Somehow I think that having to go to your guidance councilor to get them would be more embarassing than going into a drug store where you didn't know the sales clerk to buy them. As for selling them from vending machines, I know that there are thousands of truck stops all over the country that sell them in vending machines in the mens room. that would be a rational place to put the machines (I don't know if the ladies rooms sell them or not. I imagine they probably sell things like Tampax, but it would probably be a good idea to put the machines in there too.) The school could have a policy of changing the inventory in the machines once a month or so to keep them fresh.
Member # 2059
posted 07-02-2001 04:04 PM
My high school had a jar of condoms in the nurse's office. Maybe it was just my school, since people are saying that something like that would never fly in the US. But I live in the US and I went to a public high school, but the condoms were still there.
A few months back, I remember, one of the school newspapers had a debate about putting condom dispensers in discreet locations around the school, like in bathroom stalls, so people could buy them with no-one seeing. I thought that was the dumbest thing I had ever heard. If you're too embarassed to buy condoms, then you absolutely should not be having sex.
But I do definitely think condoms should be available cheaply or for free, somewhere in schools.
Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk - real straight talk about souls - for life is holy and every moment is precious. I heard the Denver and Rio Grande locamotive howling off in the mountains. I wanted to pursue my star further. -Kerouac
Member # 94
posted 07-02-2001 06:07 PM
I'm not so sure that I agree with you on the discreet point em. I agree that if you're too embarrassed to buy condoms at all, then you shouldn't have sex, but schools aren't exactly the most supportive environments, especially in nations where sex is highly stigmatized.
We never had condom dispensers at my school, but there were a couple of times that people in the grade found out that this girl or that carried condoms, and they ended up getting called names etc for it, which was really pretty sickening in my mind. I can understand why, in such an environment, someone who was responsible enough to have sex would want to keep quiet about it, not out of shame, but simply out of the desire for privacy and to avoid the gossip.
Member # 961
posted 07-03-2001 10:16 AM
At both of my highschools, there were condom dispensers in both the boys' and girls' rooms, and the condoms cost a quarter each. I only ever saw one person buying any, but at least they were there, and you usually could manage to be alone in the washroom if you wanted to. Carrying condoms was also considered a good thing, and sometimes people had discussions about them, and even compared collections and traded.
And on Miz Scarlet's cafeteria topic, at one of the schools I attended meals were made by culinary students (we even made the bread!), were generally well-priced and quite wholesome, and students bought a lot of them, even though junk food was available. Who needs a chocolate bar for a dollar when you can have a whole, balanced lunch for $2.50?
Member # 4420
posted 07-04-2001 04:06 PM
I agree with Bebbie...even for a price, condoms will get blown up...a lot...my school doesn't even sell them or give them away, yet at assemblies, there they are, floating around like balloons...even so, I think that having them in the bathroom, in the same vending machine as the pads and tampons would be a great idea...the only time I've ever seen condoms in vending machines were in the reststops in Germany (which are beautiful places, much nice then the ones in the USA)...but I think that some discretion is nessacary, becuase even though I might feel I'm ready for sex, do I really want all my peers, or my teachers and such to know that? I don't...but that's a good idea...I wish we had that in CO
"Don't tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon!"
Member # 2709
posted 07-06-2001 04:25 PM
Oh God, I would NOT want to have to get condoms from my guidance counselor. I can afford them, so I buy them at drug stores, but I think it'd be terribly embarrassing to have to walk into the school office and ask for condoms. My high school has about 250 people, and although we're pretty liberal kids, word would get around quick. There isn't much slut-bashing in my school, though, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad. We're smarter than that. I don't think I'd care so much about my peers knowing as my teachers. ew. no no no.
"Do what you will, always.. Walk where you like, your steps... Do as you please, I'll back you up.." ~DMB
Member # 226
posted 07-06-2001 04:49 PM
A respected elder in my life, who was once a high school teacher, had a bowl of condoms on his filing cabinet in class. He encouraged his students to take them. Looking back on it now, I'm just amazed that he didn't get into some kind of trouble for this (but then again, he taught at an alternative school...). He says that in all of his years of teaching he never once actually saw a student take one, but every so often he had to refill that bowl. To my knowledge, also, there were never any condom-related acts of unruliness at the school (like condom water balloons).
It's just one school, in one neighbourhood, in one city, but still, if you present things to students in the right way like that, I think they'll react maturely, for the most part.
"...we're all thinking the same thing/let's not settle for satisfaction/we are women and men of action/let's stop clapping let's start doing/a dream for the teens and in-betweens and twenties yet unseen" -Braid
Member # 4464
posted 07-06-2001 10:45 PM
"...or even, have a safer sex club (which i hope to start) that would meet every week and people who wanted condoms could get them from kids, as well as get some good safer sex information. the club could write to major condom manufacturers and see if they could give donations of lube/condoms/dental dams...so they would be free....or...the club could hold condom sales (like bake sales) to raise money to help educate the school and community about safer sex practices.
ooo i'm getting my leadership juices going...rawking." ~Justine
Justine and I happen to be best friends, she's never mentioned this, but it's such a good idea. It would benefit so many students, they wouldn't have to feel weird about telling their parents, or not knowing where to go to get condoms. Maybe the health teacher could also be there to answer sexually related questions for those students who didn't know where to turn to.
I wish more people were open to the idea. I don't understand why "the people in charge" (of everywhere) don't realize that we (as a student body) are going to be sexually active, why not help us with our newly found sexuality. I guess some things will never change!