A new study finds that schools with condom distribution programs in the 1990s seem to have actually increased the rate of teenage pregnancies. “We find that access to condoms in schools increases teen fertility by about 10 percent,” the researchers concluded.
According to National Review, the study by two Notre Dame economists fills a gap in research on school contraceptive programs since there was little previous work on condom distribution programs in high schools.
Researchers Kasey Buckles and Daniel Hungerman used 22 school districts in 12 states, districts that began using condom distribution programs in the ‘90s. The study spanned 19 years and studied teen fertility data from 396 high-population counties. READ MORE
For more information on how you can raise teens to joyfully live out the Catholic vision of love in their life and relationships check out Beyond the Birds and Bees: Raising Whole and Holy Kids.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of American students using condoms hit its peak at around 60% a decade ago, and has stalled since then, even declining among some demographics. A recent study released by the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada found that nearly 50% of sexually active college students aren’t using condoms. Other reports have found that while teenagers are likely to use a condom the first time they have sex, their behavior becomes inconsistent after that.
Health officials from Oregon to Georgia are ringing alarm bells about rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases, worried that kids aren’t getting the message. Sex education is more robust than it was for previous generations, but a 2012 Guttmacher Institute report revealed that while nearly 90% of high schools are teaching students about abstinence and STDs, fewer than 60% are providing lessons about contraception methods.
The CDC estimates that half of new STD infections occur among young people. Americans ages 15 to 24 contract chlamydia and gonorrhea at four times the rate of the general population, and those in their early 20s have the highest reported cases of syphilis and HIV. READ MORE