WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Researchers from the Committee on Adolescence at the American Academy of Pediatrics said that condoms should be made more available to teenagers.
According to Reuters, doctors on the committee said in a release that, while many feel giving condoms to teens would encourage them to be sexually active, studies indicate that students with access to condoms and informative sex education programs often wait to have sex.
“I think one of the main issues is the idea that if you provide condoms and make them accessible, kids will be more likely to have sex. But really, that’s not the case,” Amy Bleakley, a researcher at the academy, told Reuters. “Getting over the perception that giving condoms out will make kids have sex is a real barrier for parents and school administrators.”
In addition to staving off unwanted pregnancies, condoms would be effective in curbing the rate of infection for sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and Chlamydia, both of which are at their highest rates among teenage and young adult women.
“For teens to use them, they have to have them available, and they’re not going to come in necessarily asking for them,” statement author Dr. Rebecca O’Brien was quoted as noting. “Having them available, not just in health care settings, is really important.”
She added, “Have them in the mall. They should be everywhere.”
The statement also encouraged schools and parents alike to promote abstinence as the best form of prevention against unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases.
The statement was published in the journal Pediatrics.