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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Buying Condoms

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Author Topic: Buying Condoms
just_curious 411
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Why is it that you don't have to be a certain age to buy condoms, lubes, and other intimate items? Do you need to be a certain age to purchase vibrators or sex toys?
Posts: 59 | From: California | Registered: Feb 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Alice
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Condoms and lube can be bought, at any age, at your local drug store or grocery store.

Sex toys can usually only be bought from a sex shop, and you need to be 18+ (by law) to enter those places.

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The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. - B.B. King

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just_curious 411
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Yeah, I was just wondering _why_ there aren't any age restrictions on buying condoms.
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Alice
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I'd imagine there aren't restrictions because condoms are a great method of birth control and protect against STI's, and people who are underage have sex, too - and even the Powers That Be can be reasonable about that, it seems.

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The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. - B.B. King

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just_curious 411
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I suppose that makes sense. Then again, if condoms weren't available to teens, I wonder if there would be fewer teens having sex due to increased pregnancy risk.
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orca
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Actually, we do know what happens when condoms are not available to teens because many teens are given false information that they cannot buy condoms (or store policy has the condoms kept under lock-and-key to prevent theft, leading some to believe that they must be a certain age to buy them). And what happens is NOT less sex or less risk of either pregnancy or STIs. Some kind of sexual activity still happens, be it intercourse or anal, oral, or manual sex, but without condoms or other barrier methods or contraception, there is an increased risk of STIs and pregnancy.

Here at Scarleteen, we don't believe in withholding information or contraception and we also feel that every person has the right to make the best sexual choice for themselves at a given point in time. Are you suggesting that an age limit should be placed on condom purchases? If so, is there a specific reason why?

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just_curious 411
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That's a very good question, and one I don't really have an answer to. I don't know enough about the subject to form a solid, objective opinion about it.

I was merely making an assumption about the outcome of placing an age restriction on condom purchases. Idealistically, it would discourage teens (especially girls) from wanting to have intercourse because of increased pregnancy and STD risks.

Now, whether or not that would actually go as planned is a completely different story. And as you pointed out, restricting condom use based on age requirements would not stop most teens from having sex. Hormonal teenagers will always find a way to circumvent an obstacle like that.

So, in a nutshell, I don't really know what viewpoint on the subject really is. Both options have their pros and cons.

(Sorry, I guess that was a little long-winded.)

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orca
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I guess I'm just not sure why you want to prevent teens from having sex, or more importantly, from having safer sex. After all, it is each person's choice, and if you noticed, this is a pro-choice website.

I think it's important to understand that when young women have sex without condoms or other contraception, it's often because their partners pressure them or otherwise mislead them. So putting an age requirement on condom purchases really would mean that young women would have even fewer choices when it comes to contraception. It's also rather offensive to say "hormonal teens." Everyone has hormones. Having hormones doesn't negate a person's desires, wants, or choices. Also, based on your profile, you're 15, so would you call yourself a "hormonal teen" too?

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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atm1
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And by the by just_curious, unmarried couples do have a constitutional right to birth control. While Einsenstadt v Bard applied mostly to unmarried adult couples, there have since been further rulings establishing a minor's right to privacy, and with it, birth control.

While the court's record on minor's right to abortion is a lot murkier, it's pretty darn clear that in this country, teens have a right to birth control, whether you like it or not.

And finally, please do watch your language and judgments of others. This is a site where thousands of individuals from many different backgrounds should feel comfortable.

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just_curious 411
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Orca: Just to clarify, I really wasn't trying to imply in any way that teens should not have sex. I definitely agree that every person has a right to his/her own body and that the decision to have sex (or not) is theirs to make. I was just trying to look at the situation from the point of view of some parents, and how they would feel about their kids having sex. But I guess that's all just speculation, isn't it?

You did bring up a very good point in your post about how an age restriction on condom purchases will leave young women with "only fewer choices when it comes to contraception." I really hadn't thought of it like that.

And I'm really very sorry for using the phrase "hormonal teen" in my last post. I do see what you mean when you say it's offensive - that term is a stereotype and not a very kind one at that. It's also very hypocritical of me to say something like that since I myself am a "hormonal" teenager. And you're right about another thing too: there's nothing wrong with having hormones. It's just a part of being human.

Again, I'm so very sorry about that. I was just being careless with my words. I'll try to be more sensitive to other's feelings and the issues at hand in any of my future posts.

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just_curious 411
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atm1: Thanks for bringing up that point about Eisenstadt vs. Bard. I have done a small amount of research online about condom use, and I'm aware that it's perfectly legal for people under 18 to buy condoms. I wasn't trying to question or undermine the legality of the situation, and I don't have a problem with teens buying condoms. I was just curious as to the reasoning behind the legislation (no pun intended, lol).

I'm very sorry if what I said (er, wrote) may have seemed rude, offensive, or offhand. In no way did I intend to hurt, judge, or criticize anyone on this site. I hope you can forgive me for my thoughtlessness. I'll do my very best to be more careful in all of my future posts.

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Ecofem
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[Have you seen this yet, curious? [Smile] http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/fed_up_with_saggy_condoms]
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just_curious 411
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Haha, yeah. I was so surprised when I read that and realized it was one of MY questions!
Posts: 59 | From: California | Registered: Feb 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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