Condoms in junior schools not the answer

2015-05-23 11:08

THERE is abundant research evidence that young teens who are offered condoms use them extremely haphazardly.

There is also firm evidence that young people under 16 years of age have seldom internalised their values, and tend to take them from significant adults in their environment.

And when it comes to sex, class-room messages can easily be misunderstood.

So I was not surprised recently when discussing the sex-education messages given to a bright 12-year-old at a very excellent junior school, that the message he got when condoms were discussed was that sex between young teens is okay as long as they wear condoms. I am sure that was not the message that was meant.

I also remember as district surgeon, having to assist a rash of four to seven-year-old girls who had been raped by 10 to 12-year-old boys shortly after a team of sex educators had visited their school.

Condoms given to junior-school children will be interpreted as permission to become sexually active. They will be used haphazardly, not fit anatomically, and raise the rate of teen pregnancies, not lower it, by making young teens more willing to have sex. And the young teens we see in the health sector have almost all been impregnated by men much older than themselves who have easy access to condoms, and have not used them.

It is simply foolishness for the government to suggest condom distribution in junior schools is any sort of answer to the problem of teen pregnancy and the spread of HIV.



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