Distribution Of Condoms In High Schools Essay
For example, the male version of the survey included the question, "How old were you the first time you had vaginal intercourse (put your penis in a girl's vagina)?
" We adapted descriptions from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey All terms and concepts used are covered in the district's ninth-grade health curriculum.
Survey items covering attitudes, knowledge and perceptions generally used Likert-scale response alternatives.
The baseline and follow-up surveys covered demographic information; knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about sex, HIV and other STDs, pregnancy and contraception; specific sexual behaviors; and condom use.While some districts have considered such programs and decided against them, Proponents claim that these programs provide adolescents with greater access to condoms, create a social environment in which suggesting condom use to a sex partner is easier and decrease the number of unprotected sexual acts.Opponents, however, argue that such programs lead students to believe that schools condone their engaging in sexual activity, and thus encourage students to have sex.Some have indicated that students generally respond favorably to such programs, that males are more likely than females to take condoms that are available at school, and that students are most likely to take condoms if schools provide easy access (e.g., place condoms in bowls).In this article, we report the results of a pretest-posttest evaluation of a school-based condom availability program that provided unrestricted access to condoms.Respondents completed an anonymous, self-administered survey during a regular class period and sealed it in an opaque envelope.Survey administrators unaffiliated with the school district proctored the classes.There was no significant change over time in the percentage of males or females who had ever had vaginal intercourse or who had had vaginal intercourse during the year prior to the survey.The percentage of males who reported using condoms every time they engaged in vaginal intercourse during the past year increased significantly, from 37% to 50%, and the percentage of males who reported condom use at recently initiated first vaginal intercourse increased from 65% to 80%.The students' attitudes toward sex and condom use either remained the same between surveys or changed in a direction favoring less sexual behavior and greater risk prevention.The condom availability program appears not to have produced an increase in sexual activity among high school students, and it appears to have led to improved condom use among males.