Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Should first graders have access to condoms?

I had no idea what a condom was when I was in first grade. Did you?

One June 10 a Cape Cod community school board approved a new condom distribution policy for the school district. According to the new policy, students as young as 6 years old would be allowed to obtain a condom from the school nurse without fear of the school notifying their parents. The new policy has parents, politicians, and members of the community in an uproar.

She may have a point. According to the Kinsey Institute, 25 percent of boys and 26 percent of girls have sexual intercourse for the first time before the age of 15. With so many teens having sex before high school, doesn't it seem wise to allow access to birth control and protection against STIs?

For years we have heard the argument that giving teens access to condoms does nothing but encourage sex. Studies have now shown this is simply not the case. The non-profit Advocates for Youth has complied research from a variety of sources including the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics hat shows that "condom availability programs encourage sexually active teens to use condoms more often and more consistently than do their sexually active peers who are without condom availability programs." In addition, Advocates for Youth reports that "studies show that condom availability programs do not encourage teens to initiate sex and do not cause sexually active teens to have sex more often or with more partners."

So what do you think? Should kids in first grade have access to condoms at school? Does the school need to inform parents if their child asks for condoms? Most importantly, can we expect elementary school students to use the phrase "No glove, no love?"


  1. I think it's a great idea. Making condoms available for 1st grader does not mean they are promoting sexual activity. This simply means we are increasing sexual education at a younger curriculum level, which is what more progressive countries like Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are doing.

    What's a better way to prevent high STI rates and pregnancy rate than to teach kids at a younger age what STI means and teaching age-appropriate lessons on sexuality.

  2. I could not agree more. My experience as a school counselor in an elementary school was enough to prove that 6 year-olds know more about sex than their parents think they do.

    Since elementary school students certainly don't have the income to go buy condoms, shouldn't they be able to get them for free?

  3. I feel as though this has the amazing potential to make condoms a tool for protection, not something that kids giggle at and blow up with water to throw at cars or something. By removing the taboo factor, a conversation can happen between a young person and a parent so as to promote a PROPER use of condoms. After all, condoms are only 98% effective if used correctly.

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  5. I have to agree with Shana about how that 6 year-olds know about sex. Even in a kindergarten were I was doing volunteer work, the kids knew about sex or at least what it meant. Who is it to blame, the parents, television, music, or just society evolving in someway. Should 1st graders have access to condoms? I dont really know, like the article said how can you an age on it when sexual experimentation is not limited to an age. In my opinion I believe no, at that age kids are all about cuties and grouping.But I think in the fourth or Fifth Grade because when their in middle school I believe the groups begin to separate and others begin to integrate and they realize girls don't have cuties and boys aren't from Marz.

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