Distributing Condoms in School

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby superglucose » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:47 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Unfortunately, since it doesn't look like they're going to start doing that any time soon, and since I have to live in a society with their children, it's in my best interest to advocate having the government do it for them.


I will fight this tooth, nail, and toenail, and anything else I've got nearby. Only for this reason: allowing the government to become authoritarian anywhere is allowing the government to become authoritarian somewhere. Has nothing to do with 'religion,' it has everything to do with me seeing the government telling the person next to me and saying "this is how your going to raise your kids!" and then I have this unshakable fear that the government is going to turn to me next and say "and as for you, superglucose, this is how you're going to think!"

Malice wrote:Why do you think teen sex is a bad idea?


Because the average teenager isn't mentally equipped to deal with relationships in a mature, responsible manner. If teenagers are incapable of holding off before getting a few bucks down to the local drugstore and getting condoms, this sounds like the teenagers are remarkably irresponsible.

Essentially, I see the argument for free condom distribution as this: "Teenagers aren't responsible enough to go get condoms elsewhere on their own before having the sex they're already going to have." This is... for the most part... absolutely true. Isn't it just depressing? ANY-ways... seeing as condoms are easy to procure and cheap to procure, it seems to me that the fact that most teenagers are unwilling to get condoms is a good sign that they aren't ready to have sex. As my friend's mother once told him: "You're ready to have sex when you're ready to go buy condoms at the drug store."

As a general rule of thumb I agree with that approach. However, it's not the government's job to enforce any particular set of morals, or overcome the irresponsibility of its subjects. If you flush your wallet down the toilet and lose $300 should the government have to come and bail you out? There's a point where personal responsibility steps in and takes over.

For me, that point is when you can get condoms for very cheap in a private fashion. Since that isn't happening yet, it NEEDS TO HAPPEN SOON. Honestly, cheap condoms>free condoms>no condoms, but it's more like cheap condoms>free condoms>>>>no condoms.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Malice » Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:08 am UTC

superglucose wrote:
Malice wrote:Why do you think teen sex is a bad idea?


Because the average teenager isn't mentally equipped to deal with relationships in a mature, responsible manner. If teenagers are incapable of holding off before getting a few bucks down to the local drugstore and getting condoms, this sounds like the teenagers are remarkably irresponsible.


Figured. The arguments against this are a bit weaker. A few:
-teenagers have been getting married and starting families for thousands of years
-teenagers aren't that irresponsible, sexually. Look, for example, at the actual pregnancy rate for women between 15 and 19 years old. It's sitting pretty at 7.5%, the lowest its been in 30 years. And that's with our incredibly sub-standard sex ed.
-teens aren't that irresponsible, period. We let them drive, vote, marry, etc.
-biologically, mental immaturity doesn't end until someone is well into their twenties...

As a general rule of thumb I agree with that approach. However, it's not the government's job to enforce any particular set of morals, or overcome the irresponsibility of its subjects. If you flush your wallet down the toilet and lose $300 should the government have to come and bail you out? There's a point where personal responsibility steps in and takes over.


If you do? No. If millions of people do? The government needs to look at those toilets. If the government decides, for example, that millions of people losing 300 bucks is going to screw up the economy, and giving that money back will fix it, then it should. A government is there to help its citizens succeed as a group and as individuals. If it is beneficial to society, why shouldn't they help out?
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby a386 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:45 am UTC

Malice wrote:If you do? No. If millions of people do? The government needs to look at those toilets. If the government decides, for example, that millions of people losing 300 bucks is going to screw up the economy, and giving that money back will fix it, then it should. A government is there to help its citizens succeed as a group and as individuals. If it is beneficial to society, why shouldn't they help out?


often, though, the definition of "beneficial to society" is much more fuzzy than "having 300 dollars" versus "not having 300 dollars." situations more complex than money-hungry porcelain mean more complex definitions of "succeed" and "beneficial." for example a politician may believe alcohol is wrong and that a "successful" person is a sober person, so to benefit society he signs off on prohibition. complex issues like sex need to boil down to personal responsibility because otherwise, the beliefs of those in power end up forced on the citizens simply because of how those in power view the world.

any other teenagers here feel weird making the argument that our own demographic needs free condoms because we're too irresponsible and impulsive to resist the temptation of sex? i understand that foragoers are a select slice of the numbers, but still, it feels like kind of a belittling generalization. not to say that's not still the argument i'm making.

edit: fixed the quote tag

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby akashra » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:10 am UTC

Not having condoms available isn't going to stop adolescents having sex if that's what they want to do. Having them available might (in some very unlikely cases) make them decide it's okay. However, the latter poses less harm than the former.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:22 am UTC

a386 wrote:any other teenagers here feel weird making the argument that our own demographic needs free condoms because we're too irresponsible and impulsive to resist the temptation of sex? i understand that foragoers are a select slice of the numbers, but still, it feels like kind of a belittling generalization. not to say that's not still the argument i'm making.


You shouldn't feel weird. It's not a "Us vs. Them" argument, it's a "What's the Socially Responsible Thing To Do" argument.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Umlaut » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:24 am UTC

I don't think that the government should be giving out free condoms in schools, but they shouldn't be preventing it either. If some group wants to distribute condoms, let the individual school decide whether it is acceptable.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Belial » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:27 am UTC

I will fight this tooth, nail, and toenail, and anything else I've got nearby. Only for this reason: allowing the government to become authoritarian anywhere is allowing the government to become authoritarian somewhere. Has nothing to do with 'religion,' it has everything to do with me seeing the government telling the person next to me and saying "this is how your going to raise your kids!" and then I have this unshakable fear that the government is going to turn to me next and say "and as for you, superglucose, this is how you're going to think!"


Pfft. No one said "this is how you're going to raise your kids." Just "if you're not going to parent them, we are."
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby a386 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:58 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
a386 wrote:any other teenagers here feel weird making the argument that our own demographic needs free condoms because we're too irresponsible and impulsive to resist the temptation of sex? i understand that foragoers are a select slice of the numbers, but still, it feels like kind of a belittling generalization. not to say that's not still the argument i'm making.


You shouldn't feel weird. It's not a "Us vs. Them" argument, it's a "What's the Socially Responsible Thing To Do" argument.

yeah .. i'm still all for it, and i'm not denying the statistic. i'm just .. saying "teenagers are irresponsible" and being one and not being that irresponsible (im not going to get somebody pregnant, anyway) leaves an odd taste in my mouth.

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Malice » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:00 am UTC

a386 wrote:
Malice wrote:If you do? No. If millions of people do? The government needs to look at those toilets. If the government decides, for example, that millions of people losing 300 bucks is going to screw up the economy, and giving that money back will fix it, then it should. A government is there to help its citizens succeed as a group and as individuals. If it is beneficial to society, why shouldn't they help out?


often, though, the definition of "beneficial to society" is much more fuzzy than "having 300 dollars" versus "not having 300 dollars." situations more complex than money-hungry porcelain mean more complex definitions of "succeed" and "beneficial." for example a politician may believe alcohol is wrong and that a "successful" person is a sober person, so to benefit society he signs off on prohibition. complex issues like sex need to boil down to personal responsibility because otherwise, the beliefs of those in power end up forced on the citizens simply because of how those in power view the world.


A politician isn't supposed to do that. The government will do fine working for the benefit of society and not bringing morals and crap like that. You brought up a great example yourself--prohibition was good for the morals of society (assuming alcohol really is immoral), but actually terrible by any other judgment, because it made people unhappy and established organized crime. If you actually look at a problem in economic terms (and by that I don't just mean money), you can solve anything.

Sex isn't a complex issue. People do it. They want to do it. They really want to do it. It's that simple. You don't try and mitigate a drive like that. You mandate just enough safety stuff to protect people from their own stupid selves and then you get the hell out of their way.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby a386 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:06 am UTC

Malice wrote:Sex isn't a complex issue. People do it. They want to do it. They really want to do it. It's that simple. You don't try and mitigate a drive like that. You mandate just enough safety stuff to protect people from their own stupid selves and then you get the hell out of their way.

hm. maybe simplification applies here better than i thought it did. :D that rule i like that rule, and in half a minute of rigorous brain-testing it hasn't failed me yet!

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby aetherson » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:55 am UTC

Belial wrote:..."if you're not going to parent them, we are."

Again, this is the problem I think we need to be working on...

Malice wrote:...don't try and mitigate a drive like that. You mandate just enough safety stuff to protect people from their own stupid selves and then you get the hell out of their way.

But how do you keep a governing body from over stepping its bounds?
Federal governments are too slow to react to change so are you suggesting a return of more state's rights? If so, i'm all for it.

The comment about being ready to have sex when you're ready to walk into a drug store and buy condoms...that's a good one liner. I might have to remember it if I ever procreate.

However, that's not to say that I don't think there shouldn't be a little candy bowl full of Trojans sitting in the Counselor's office.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Malice » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:09 am UTC

Malice wrote:...don't try and mitigate a drive like that. You mandate just enough safety stuff to protect people from their own stupid selves and then you get the hell out of their way.

But how do you keep a governing body from over stepping its bounds?
Federal governments are too slow to react to change so are you suggesting a return of more state's rights? If so, i'm all for it.[/quote]

Gee, I'm not. Neither the federal nor the state government is quick to react to change. That's a good thing. It is a feature, put into the system by the founding fathers. They wanted to make sure a democratic government wouldn't lurch from one extreme to another with the whims of the mass mob, and I think they did a pretty damn good job.
But I view state governments as somewhat of a relic. They are just as rife with corruption as federal governments, only they get even less public scrutiny; and in terms of representation, the ratio of government to governed is past the line of ludicrosity whether you're talking about federal or state governments. But that's neither here nor there.

I don't think giving out free condoms is "overstepping its bounds"; it's not like kids that age cannot go buy condoms for a few bucks in a drugstore anyway. It's a helpful measure, available if they need it. If the government mandated condom use, that would be a different thing altogether.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby superglucose » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:11 am UTC

Belial wrote:
I will fight this tooth, nail, and toenail, and anything else I've got nearby. Only for this reason: allowing the government to become authoritarian anywhere is allowing the government to become authoritarian somewhere. Has nothing to do with 'religion,' it has everything to do with me seeing the government telling the person next to me and saying "this is how your going to raise your kids!" and then I have this unshakable fear that the government is going to turn to me next and say "and as for you, superglucose, this is how you're going to think!"


Pfft. No one said "this is how you're going to raise your kids." Just "if you're not going to parent them, we are."


Too close for me. It's WAAAAY too close for me.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Malice » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:24 am UTC

superglucose wrote:
Belial wrote:Pfft. No one said "this is how you're going to raise your kids." Just "if you're not going to parent them, we are."


Too close for me. It's WAAAAY too close for me.


Actually, they're exactly the same thing. To say, "You didn't parent your kids, so we'll do it for you" begs the question, what's your definition of "parent" in that sentence? For example, if you said, "I don't want to teach my son about sex, I prefer that he find out naturally through his own exploration", and the state said, "No, we're going to put him in a classroom and teach him properly and show him scary pictures," then you're there.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Azrael » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:31 pm UTC

Malice wrote:For example, if you said, "I don't want to teach my son about sex, I prefer that he find out naturally through his own exploration", and the state said, "No, we're going to put him in a classroom and teach him properly and show him scary pictures," then you're there.


Interestingly enough, if you replaced 'sex' with, oh say, reading, writing, math and basic social skills you'd end up with ... school. Teaching kids about sex isn't somehow exclusively in the realm of "parenting". If the state thinks it's within their educational mandate to teach health, then teaching safe & healthy sex is an important part of that education.

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Pixel » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:45 pm UTC

aetherson wrote:However, that's not to say that I don't think there shouldn't be a little candy bowl full of Trojans sitting in the Counselor's office.


I just want to note there are an impressive number of negatives in that statement. I *think* it parses down to aetherson not wanting a bowl of condoms in the counselor's office. Triple negative=statement is negative, right?
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Belial » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:52 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
Malice wrote:For example, if you said, "I don't want to teach my son about sex, I prefer that he find out naturally through his own exploration", and the state said, "No, we're going to put him in a classroom and teach him properly and show him scary pictures," then you're there.

Interestingly enough, if you replaced 'sex' with, oh say, reading, writing, math and basic social skills you'd end up with ... school. Teaching kids about sex isn't somehow exclusively in the realm of "parenting". If the state thinks it's within their educational mandate to teach health, then teaching safe & healthy sex is an important part of that education.


Pretty much. When your population is critically ignorant of science, you mandate science classes. When your population is critically ignorant of sex, you mandate sex ed.

If parents were, for the most part, actually proficient at teaching either of these things to their children at an adequate level, it wouldn't be necessary for the government to mandate either.

Also, I'm not entirely certain that the freedom to keep your children ignorant is really a freedom we should be protecting, ever. Anymore than the freedom to keep your children locked in a closet for 10 hours out of the day is a freedom we should be protecting.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby iop » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:57 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Also, I'm not entirely certain that the freedom to keep your children ignorant is really a freedom we should be protecting, ever. Anymore than the freedom to keep your children locked in a closet for 10 hours out of the day is a freedom we should be protecting.

It's actually a question of balancing the freedom of parents to do whatever they want to their children with whatever rights society wants to accord to children.
If children have any rights, then it is the duty of the government to enforce them, even if it may interfere with superglucose's personal ideas about parenting.

Thus, your example is more: Is the right of parents to control the whereabouts of their children more important than the childrens' right to education?
A similar example would be: Is the right of parents to teach their kids a lesson more important than the childrens' right to be free of bodily harm?

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby mazzilliu » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:11 pm UTC

iop wrote:
Belial wrote:Also, I'm not entirely certain that the freedom to keep your children ignorant is really a freedom we should be protecting, ever. Anymore than the freedom to keep your children locked in a closet for 10 hours out of the day is a freedom we should be protecting.

It's actually a question of balancing the freedom of parents to do whatever they want to their children with whatever rights society wants to accord to children.
If children have any rights, then it is the duty of the government to enforce them, even if it may interfere with superglucose's personal ideas about parenting.

Thus, your example is more: Is the right of parents to control the whereabouts of their children more important than the childrens' right to education?
A similar example would be: Is the right of parents to teach their kids a lesson more important than the childrens' right to be free of bodily harm?

well this also ignores the fact that once these little kids get older, they aren't exactly going to be 100% under the control of their parents anymore, even though they are under 18. there's different stages of growth and people don't realize that the change doesn't happen at year 17 and the 364th day, it happens over all the teenage years, and unless the parent wants to keep their kid locked up for 18 years, they need to learn to handle themselves in the real world. sex is part of the real world. its the parents obligation to society and their own kid that they are educated, so that kid doesn't commit crimes or get(someone) pregnant or spread disease. the parents have absolutely no right to fail in this obligation.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby trickster721 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:23 am UTC

Belial wrote:When your population is critically ignorant of science, you mandate science classes. When your population is critically ignorant of sex, you mandate sex ed.

Assuming, of course, that "you" know what's best for everyone to know better than they do.

There also seems to be the danger that this hypothetical mandatory knowledge-absorption program could lead to completely passive attitudes towards learning, or even to an instinctual suspicion of the science itself (which, in turn, could lead to something as ridiculous as an entire society preferring creationism to evolution).

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Garm » Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:59 am UTC

trickster721 wrote:
Belial wrote:When your population is critically ignorant of science, you mandate science classes. When your population is critically ignorant of sex, you mandate sex ed.

Assuming, of course, that "you" know what's best for everyone to know better than they do.

There also seems to be the danger that this hypothetical mandatory knowledge-absorption program could lead to completely passive attitudes towards learning, or even to an instinctual suspicion of the science itself (which, in turn, could lead to something as ridiculous as an entire society preferring creationism to evolution).


You're missing the point, maybe somewhat intentionally, but missing it nonetheless. The idea of education isn't just to make the student a receptacle of knowledge. Knowing a bunch of crap about STDs and pregnancy is just a means to an end. That being the rational decision making process in regard to sexual activity. One of the more valuable things that a teacher can do for a student is show them how to form an opinion. An informed choice about what to believe or what to do. Sex ed is no different. Making an uniformed choice is really stupid. If we condemn our kids to make uninformed choices about sex than the consequences aren't wholly their fault.

One of the things that is missing from this conversation is the idea that with condom distribution comes that sort of education. Most of the birth control distribution programs that I know of also talk about things like natal care and making smart choices about the kids budding sexuality. Birth control is a smart choice whether those of you who reject such distribution programs want to admit it or not. Not only is it a smart choice, it's only one of many choices that we make when it comes to sex and procreation. These choices are better made with eyes open if you ask me.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby trickster721 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:15 am UTC

Garm wrote:One of the more valuable things that a teacher can do for a student is show them how to form an opinion. An informed choice about what to believe or what to do.

So people need help from a teacher in order to form their own original opinions? And the first human learned basic reasoning directly from Jesus, I suppose.

What's the difference between teaching people how to think and telling them what to think?

And you know what, thank god we don't actually need someone to teach us how to think, or we'd be in even worse shape right now.

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Rippy » Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:59 am UTC

trickster721 wrote:So people need help from a teacher in order to form their own original opinions? And the first human learned basic reasoning directly from Jesus, I suppose.

What's the difference between teaching people how to think and telling them what to think?

And you know what, thank god we don't actually need someone to teach us how to think, or we'd be in even worse shape right now.

...I can't grasp the implications of what you've just said there. Are you suggesting that your thought processes, your reasoning, and your opinions have been in NO WAY influenced by anyone other than yourself? And that allowing such an influence is wrong?

Whether you like it or not, you HAVE been told how to think, and you can't do anything about it. Most of what you think of as "you" has simply been transferred to you from people who are/were close to you. And be thankful for it, because if it didn't happen, we'd all be living in the woods eating raw meat.

Sorry if that came off as rude, but something about your post just rubbed me the wrong way.

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby blackrose » Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:13 am UTC

My two cents:
I don't think that government should hand out condoms to high schoolers. The government (the schools) are authority figures. They shouldn't be given condoms because that is telling them that they ARE mature enough to have sex by the authority. It's like your dad giving a you the car keys, winking at you, and not expecting you not to feel okay with going for a drive.
Another thing, if high schoolers aren't mature enough to go out and buy their own condoms, then it may needed to be reconsidered if giving them some is a good idea. They shouldn't be having sex at all if they're that childish or "shy" to buy "a forbidden item" at a store.
I know sixteen year olds can be mature enough to have sex and not be harmed mentally or physically. But, why give all the High Schoolers at a hypothetical school, some mature, and MOST not, condoms.

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby 4=5 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:20 am UTC

a much closer analogy is handing out bike helmets; you can ride without them, they increase safety, and they aren't worn often enough.

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Freakish » Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:58 am UTC

4=5 wrote:a much closer analogy is handing out bike helmets; you can ride without them, they increase safety, and they aren't worn often enough.


An even closer analogy is handing out cups for sports; Sure it's not the most comfortable thing in the world, and it some times it feels awkward, but you really don't want to risk going without it.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Ari » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:12 am UTC

++$_ wrote:The only possible problem I can see is the "Don't stuff beans up your nose" issue (see WP:BEANS). The same issue arises with any sex-ed program (even abstinence-only), of course.

That said, is it even bad if high-school students are having sex, given that they're using condoms?


There's a reason it's "don't stuff beans up your nose". ;) It works much better to encourage people telling them not to do something than actually educating them level-headedly about the consequences. (Good) sex education very rarely tells you not to do something, it just makes you aware of the consequences and lets you process how stupid a decision it might be for yourself.

I mean, it'd be hard to fuck things up worse than abstinence education is already doing, so it's not as if it'd hurt you to even put in an incredibly bad sex-ed program.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Belial » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:29 pm UTC

trickster721 wrote:And you know what, thank god we don't actually need someone to teach us how to think, or we'd be in even worse shape right now.


You think we don't need to be taught how to think? You clearly weren't in any of my "critical thinking" classes throughout college. These were college aged kids who couldn't grasp basic logic. People do need to be taught how to think, it's just some of them pick it up from their surroundings and others need it formalized.

blackrose wrote:I don't think that government should hand out condoms to high schoolers. The government (the schools) are authority figures. They shouldn't be given condoms because that is telling them that they ARE mature enough to have sex by the authority.


Not really. As condom distribution programs don't generally happen in a vacuum, the accompanying sex-ed classes would impress upon them the requisite message: you probably shouldn't be having sex right now, but if you do, please use one of those so you don't break out with crotch-rot or uterine parasites.

Another thing, if high schoolers aren't mature enough to go out and buy their own condoms, then it may needed to be reconsidered if giving them some is a good idea. They shouldn't be having sex at all if they're that childish or "shy" to buy "a forbidden item" at a store.


What you just said is both correct (in most settings*) and absolutely irrelevant. Our judgment as to whether these kids are ready to have sex doesn't mean we can stop them, short of a home arrest.

I know sixteen year olds can be mature enough to have sex and not be harmed mentally or physically. But, why give all the High Schoolers at a hypothetical school, some mature, and MOST not, condoms.


Because STDs and Pregnancy won't wait until they're mature enough to go into effect?

*Though I would point you back to the discussion earlier in this thread of people who live in a small-town setting where everyone knows everyone. In these settings, buying condoms isn't a shyness issue, it's an issue of the clerk reporting to your parents
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:35 pm UTC

...and uncles and cousins and grandparents and your dentist and your doctor and the guy down at the movie store...
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby b.i.o » Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:54 am UTC

blackrose wrote:My two cents:
I don't think that government should hand out condoms to high schoolers. The government (the schools) are authority figures. They shouldn't be given condoms because that is telling them that they ARE mature enough to have sex by the authority.


I hate this argument (when used about pretty much everything) because it makes generalizations and only can be justified by a complete ignorance of reality. Teenagers have sex now, and will continue to have sex whether or not they're getting free condoms from any source. An authority figure giving out condoms reinforces one thing, and one thing only: the idea that sex should be safe if practiced. And most teenagers couldn't care less whether or not their elders want them to have sex


It's like your dad giving a you the car keys, winking at you, and not expecting you not to feel okay with going for a drive.


It's not at all, because it's perfectly possible to have sex without condoms, but not very easy to go for a drive without the car keys. Condoms are necessary for safe sex, not sex in general.


Another thing, if high schoolers aren't mature enough to go out and buy their own condoms, then it may needed to be reconsidered if giving them some is a good idea. They shouldn't be having sex at all if they're that childish or "shy" to buy "a forbidden item" at a store.
I know sixteen year olds can be mature enough to have sex and not be harmed mentally or physically. But, why give all the High Schoolers at a hypothetical school, some mature, and MOST not, condoms.
/rant


For most I don't think it's that they're shy--it's that they're afraid of their parents/etc. finding out about it--especially in small towns. It's also significantly more embarrassing to buy condoms/etc. when you know the people working at the counter...

And so what if high schoolers aren't as mentally or physically mature as adults. Do you honestly think most teenagers are going to be harmed physically by having safe, normal sex? Or even mentally? And again, the maturity argument ignores reality. Teenagers will have sex whether you like it or not. If they're not mature enough to get their own condoms and are having sex anyway, wouldn't you prefer them to be given condoms?

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Rippy » Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:03 am UTC

blackrose wrote:It's like your dad giving a you the car keys, winking at you, and not expecting you not to feel okay with going for a drive.

No it's not, it's like your dad giving you the car's brake pedal. You can go for a drive whether or not you have it, but you're much less likely to have an accident if you've got it.

I realise that analogy kind of fails because you can't exactly detach a brake pedal. But still, using keys as the analogy is like saying "you can't have sex until your dad gives you your penis."

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby PhantomReality » Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:24 am UTC

Having recently had sex without a condom, and possibly paying the price for it, I'll add my two cents. Somebody once said to me "if you're not mature enough to buy condoms, you shouldn't be having sex." I think that holds pretty much true, though as for how that should effect distributing condoms in school i dunno.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:53 pm UTC

College RA's have piles of condoms they leave in a grab bag on their door for just this reason. Its not that people are to immature to go get them, its that having the option always close by encourages safe sex. Whether or not your using the condoms being handed out for free or buying your own isn't so much the point as un-stigmatizing sex. If people dropped these puritan perspectives of sex being something that could only happen in secrecy behind closed doors, there'd be much less irresponsibility surrounding it.

If you don't like the mentality of the program your child is in because they teach them about sex, put your child in a different program. There are bazillions of colleges that include 'moral principals' in their curricula, where students sign wavers promising to not drink, smoke, have sex, etc...
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:18 pm UTC

"if you're not mature enough to buy condoms, you shouldn't be having sex."


That goes for a lot of things that children and teenagers do anyway... "If you're not mature enough to remember to put down padded mats in case you miss and wear a helmet, you shouldn't leap off the roof into the swimming pool, even though the 12 foot deep end is, totally like three feet away from the house"

So.. yes, I agree completely. I also know that teens and college kiddies do need a reliable source of free condoms because they're bloody idiots.

where students sign wavers promising to not drink, smoke, have sex, etc...


I need to find the sources I've seen before on the waiver things.. particularly on sex, as from what I recall while signing a waiver saying you won't have premarital sex or sex before college or whatever does put off the first time for a while, it makes it more likely that the first time will be condomless.
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby b.i.o » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:22 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I need to find the sources I've seen before on the waiver things.. particularly on sex, as from what I recall while signing a waiver saying you won't have premarital sex or sex before college or whatever does put off the first time for a while, it makes it more likely that the first time will be condomless.


I've seen those statistics, and that sounds right. I remember them also saying those waiver things are completely ineffective at all, with ~90% of the people signing them having sex before marriage anyway.

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby Garm » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:41 pm UTC

trickster721 wrote:
Garm wrote:One of the more valuable things that a teacher can do for a student is show them how to form an opinion. An informed choice about what to believe or what to do.

So people need help from a teacher in order to form their own original opinions? And the first human learned basic reasoning directly from Jesus, I suppose.

What's the difference between teaching people how to think and telling them what to think?

And you know what, thank god we don't actually need someone to teach us how to think, or we'd be in even worse shape right now.


Everyone (well almost everyone, I'm sure there are exceptions) has a certain number of opinions that are nothing more than preconcieved notions that they believe most fervently and yet have never examined why they hold that opinion. I know I do. I think that generally, the younger we are, the more of these unexamined positions we hold. I remember being a teenager. I thought I knew everything. I shared a lot of views with my parents. I shared a lot of views with my friends. Things were good cuz I was an ignorant little git.

Then I went off to college and took a bunch of math classes and some education classes and did a lot of reading. So now, not only is my head is chock full of tricks for figuring out the tip at a restaurant, I can also analyze the shit out of a variety of systems. I have what I feel is a pretty solid system for determining what I believe and why I believe it. I have this ability due to the professors who dedicate their class to teaching me things like critical analysis, logic, and research techniques. Looking back at my high school career I can see that some of the underpinnings of this ability to opine like a fiend were given to me by my teachers there. I didn't understand it at the time but it's true and I thank them for what they've helped me do. I aspire to do the same thing. I think it's a valuable and important gift and is one that is hard to gain on your own.

The problem with learning analysis in an intellectual vacuum is that you have only yourself to check your advancement. A teacher, ideally, can help a student gain in intellectual complexity. A educator should not be a mere repository of knowledge, that's what a library is for, nor should an educator be a mouthpiece for a fixed set of ideas, an educator should be a guide for students. I think that while the majority of teachers don't see themselves as such, they do understand that they are there for the advancement of the students not the advancement of their own ideals. That's more the job of a politician.

Now, this is not to say that a teacher won't bias the knowledge provided in a class. Indeed, I think that sort of bias is almost impossible to avoid. What the teacher thinks is important for a student to know with regards to a subject will necessarily introduce bias into the lecture. I don't see a problem with that as a teacher should also be able to point this out and encourage students to challenge or agree with this bias.

In terms of the current debate, i.e. condoms. The idea of sex ed isn't to promote sex as so many mistakenly believe. The idea is to promote safe sexual behavior and safe reactionary behavior if something does go wrong. A decision made in a void of information is rarely a good or safe decision. The condoms are a sort of secondary necessity. A tool to promote safeness. Analogizing them to a text book would be over reaching, I think, maybe one could think of them as those infrared transmitters that help with class participation. :D
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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby flyingdics » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:30 pm UTC

Jeez, anyone who thinks that handing condoms out in school will make kids have more sex is crazy. They never handed me any condoms, only textbooks and homework, and I spent more time having sex in high school than I did doing homework or studying. You give a lot of credence to the school system if you think it can influence the sex lives of students so drastically when it can barely affect their reading habits.

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby EsotericWombat » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:49 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Also, I'm not entirely certain that the freedom to keep your children ignorant is really a freedom that ever existed. Anymore than the freedom to keep your children locked in a closet for 10 hours out of the day.


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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby snowkitten » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:43 am UTC

The studies have been done. Dozens of them, actually. As an example:

Blake, S.M., et al (2003). Condom Availability Programs in Massachusetts High Schools: Relationships with Condom Use and Sexual Behavior. American Journal of Public Health 93 (6), pp. 955-962.

Objectives. This study assessed relationships between condom availability programs accompanied by community discussion and involvement and adolescent sexual practices. Methods. Sexual practice and condom use differences were assessed in a representative sample of 4166 adolescents enrolled in high schools with and without condom availability programs. Results. Adolescents in schools where condoms were available were more likely to receive condom use instruction and less likely to report lifetime or recent sexual intercourse. Sexually active adolescents in those schools were twice as likely to use condoms, but less likely to use other contraceptive methods, during their most recent sexual encounter. Conclusions. The strategy of making condoms available, an indication of socioenvironmental support for condom use, may improve HIV prevention practices.

It's only one of many to reach a similar conclusion: putting condoms in schools reduces unsafe sex (and in turn, teen pregnancies, STI and HIV) without increasing sex overall. Seems pretty simple to me.

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Re: Distributing Condoms in School

Postby aetherson » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:50 am UTC

Pixel wrote:
aetherson wrote:However, that's not to say that I don't think there shouldn't be a little candy bowl full of Trojans sitting in the Counselor's office.

I just want to note there are an impressive number of negatives in that statement. I *think* it parses down to aetherson not wanting a bowl of condoms in the counselor's office. Triple negative=statement is negative, right?

No. The intention was only a double negative. I believe that there should be a bowl of condoms in the counselor's office. There should also be one in the bathrooms and the nurse's office and the coach's office and anywhere else there's a "trusted" adviser...Hell if it didn't put holes in the things, i'd say staple them to every wall...


People definitely need to be taught to think.
I've read too many lab reports (recovering grad-student here) where someone just regurgitated facts found in the book with no understanding of the 'why' and the implications of that 'why'.

(to play devil's advocate here: I had an interesting discussion with a theology professor once where he claimed that "Adam" wasn't the first "human"/ animal that was created/ evolved. He was just the first "human" to gain self awareness and be able to think rationally...have fun :D )
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