The Availability of Condoms in Middle and High Schools

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The Availability of Condoms in Middle Schools and High Schools Written by: Teegan Batiz T/Th 12-1:15 Virgina Relph

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs’) are at an all time high in the U.S. (http://www.avert.org/stdstatisticusa.htm ). Every year, 19 million new STD cases are reported. Over half of these cases occur in teenagers’ ages 15 thru 18. (http://www.sexedlibrary.org/index.cfm?pageId=801 ). This being the case, public middle and high schools should make latex condoms available for students. In the United States alone, 34 percent of freshman in high school admit to having had sexual intercourse at least once. (http://www.sexedlibrary.org/index.cfm?pageId=815 ). Six percent of those freshman reported having sexual intercourse before the age of thirteen. There really is not a quick fix to this ever-growing trend among American children between the ages of 10 thru 17. Children in this age range will continue to experiment with sexual encounters and sexual intercourse. In April of 2009, The University of Texas School of Public Health researched 1279 students in the seventh grade of a low-income public school. The research questions were about any sexual encounters they had been involved in. Twelve percent of these SEVENTH grade students admitted to having had sexual intercourse. Four percent of these children admitted they DID NOT use any protection of any kind in the last three months. Three percent admitted to having FOUR OR MORE sexual partners!! (Journal of School Health) Children are subjected to sex thru the news and media every day. It is in magazines and television shows. The show “Private Practice”, a drama on Thursday nights on ABC, recently aired a show in which a thirteen year old girl and her mother went to the girls’ pediatrician asking for birth control. The news show 20/20 on ABC is in the process of making a special segment titled “Are Middle School Kids Having Sex? “. “Research shows pressure to become sexually active is confronting children at a younger and younger age, leaving kids confused and parents perplexed about how to handle it,” ABCs’ website states, “In an upcoming report, 20/20 will take a look at this trend, and — with the help of well-known experts — give parents constructive ways to deal with the young teen who is engaging in this type of behavior.” (http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=123819&page=1&page=1). The pressure of showing their “love” for their partner might be another reason children feel the need to engage in sexual activities. (http://www.webmd.com/parenting/teen-abuse-/peer-pressure). Pressure to “fit in” might be another reason. Kids often get so caught up in wanting to be liked that they may "go along with" behaviors they think will make them popular. Some children that have had some kind of trauma or absence of a father figure or abuse might engage in sexual encounters seeking some kind of affirmation or love. Previous research has found that children raised in homes without a father figure present have sex earlier than children raised in traditional families.( http://uonews.uoregon.edu/archive/news-release/2009/9/genes-may-explain-why-children-who-live-without-dads-have-earlier-sex) Explanations of why this occurs may be that early childhood stress accelerates children’s physical development, that children who see their parents dating may start dating earlier, and that it’s harder for a single parent to monitor and supervise their children’s activities and friends. There are also a number of “games” that encourages children to act in a sexual manner. “Seven Minutes in Heaven” is game a were two kids of the opposite sex are picked to go in a closet and “make out” and touch each other in a sexual manner. Over the past few years, some schools across the country have banned colored jelly bracelets fearing...
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