Condoms in Schools



Condoms in schools may prevent teen pregnancies

Meredith Crockett, Editor-in-Chief

Over half of all high school seniors are sexually active, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) only 60.2 percent of those people used a condom the last time they had sex.  

Condoms are a form of birth control that, when used correctly, provide protection against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and unplanned pregnancy. They are currently the most popular form of birth control with synthetic and latex condoms being the most popular in the US because they are cheap, simple, and effective.  

According to AAP, one factor that increased the use of condoms among sexually active teens was a formal sexual education class which made teens 50 percent more likely to use a condom when having sex. 

The use of condoms among sexually active teens went up 21 percent from 1988 to 2010, but it still is not enough. Statistics predict that 3 in every 10 teenage girls will become pregnant at least once before the age of 20. In addition, one in every two sexually active people gets at least one STI every year.  

PWC is an abstinence-based county, so teachers are allowed only to teach pregnancy prevention options with abstinence being the preferred option. Unlike other counties, PWCS are not allowed to give demonstrations, such as the condom-on-banana demonstration which is common.  

While PWC had 311 teen pregnancies in 2016, Arlington County had only 56 and Falls Church City had only four. Falls Church, unlike PWC, starts educating students about sexual health in 9th grade, which may account for why PWC had three kids under 15 pregnant in 2016 while Falls Church had none.  

The standards of learning for Falls Church County states, “the student will demonstrate knowledge of pregnancy prevention and disease control.” The county also has an entire unit on HIV and how to prevent contracting the disease.  

According to statistics, teen’s formal education along with easy access to condoms increases the likelihood that they are used during sex. The AAP suggested that schools were a good location to offer these to teens. This along with giving students the education of what “safe sex” is would make their sex safer. 

A study found that offering and educating students about condoms made 42 percent of students wait at least six months longer to have sex. This debunks the myth that teens having access to condoms makes them more likely to have sex.