This House Would Distribute Condoms in Schools (Junior)

Wherever the issue has emerged, whether it is in the inner city schools of America, the primary schools of Wales, or in health education programs in the developing world, the suggestion that condoms should be actively promoted as a solution to unwanted pregnancies has been controversial. This is also the case for using condoms as a method of preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and the proliferation of HIV infection. Scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the contention that condoms, when properly used, reduce the incidence of these problems. However numerous critics fear that active encouragement of condom use advances the onset of sexual activity among young people. In particular, more conservative religious traditions, as well as religious groups that oppose contraception, oppose the move to the distribution of condoms in schools out of fear that basic values of their religions might be undermined in their children.

As an alternative, critics of condom distribution advocate abstinence-only education. This variant of sex education encourages young people to abstain from sexual activity as a way to avoid pregnancy and disease. Unfortunately, such programs have had mixed or negative results. In the developed world commercial influences and social pressures contribute to defiance of abstinence. In developing countries, where cultures often encourage the development of large families and educational programs are not as well funded or comprehensive, critics feel the message lacks impact.

Because this issue has received a great deal of attention in the United States and the United Kingdom as regards implementation in public schools, the temptation is to see this topic through only that lens. However, debaters may just as easily consider broader educational programs instituted by governments to improve public health and population control. Debaters may also consider multinational and foreign aid programs designed to control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and regulate population growth—all of which could contain a condom distribution component.

Bibliography 

[1] Mayaud, Philippe, and McCormick, Duncan, British Medical Bulletin, Vol. 58, Issue 1, pp.129-153, http://bmb.oxfordjournals.org/content/58/1/129.full[2] Garner, Richard, ‘The Big Question: Why are teenage pregnancy rates so high, and what can be done about it?’, The Independent, 17 February 2009, http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/big-question/the-big-question-why-ar...[3] NHS Choices, ‘Peer pressure’, 29 September 2011, http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Sexandyoungpeople/Pages/Peerpressure.aspx[4]  'The Evolution of Birth Control', Newsweek, 28 September 2009, http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/galleries/2009/10/28/the-history-o...[5] ‘Parental Consent and Notice for Contraceptives Threatens Teen Health and Constitutional Rights’, Center For Reproductive Rights, 1 November 2006, http://reproductiverights.org/en/document/parental-consent-and-notice-fo...[6] Murphy, Lynn K., ‘The Connection:  Abortion, Permissive Sex Instruction, and Family Planning What the Pro-Abortion Experts Say And What the Pro-Life and other Experts Say’, November 1993, http://www.ewtn.com/library/PROLIFE/CONNECT.TXT [7]  Pardue, Melissa, Rector, Robert and Martin, Shannan, ‘Government Spends $12 on Safe Sex and Contraceptives for Every $1 Spends on Abstinence’, The Heritage Foundation, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2004/01/government-spends-12-on...

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