National News

Study: Condoms Don't Increase Teen Sex

May 29, 2003

This article is part of The Body PRO's archive. Because it contains information that may no longer be accurate, this article should only be considered a historical document.

Teenagers at high schools where condoms were available were no more likely to have sex than other teens, a study says. The study published Wednesday backs earlier research on the programs developed in the 1990s to stem the spread of HIV and reduce teen pregnancy. It says that students in high schools with condom programs were more likely to use condoms, while students in other high schools were more likely to use other forms of birth control. Overall, there was no difference in pregnancy rates. The study could not determine if there was an increase in STDs.

Researchers at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services examined high schools in Massachusetts where the state Department of Education encouraged schools to develop condom programs. The study took a sample of all high schools, comparing students at nine schools that made condoms available with those at 50 schools that did not. They found 49 percent of students at non-condom schools reported having ever had sex, compared with 42 percent of those at schools with condoms available. "The concerns of the small minority of parents who oppose providing condoms or related instruction in schools were not substantiated," wrote lead author Susan M. Blake and her colleagues.

The Massachusetts study also found that:

  • Schools offering condoms were more likely to teach students how to use them properly.
  • Students at condom schools were more likely to have received information about HIV/AIDS.
  • Students at schools with condom programs were no more likely than others to say that condoms were easily available, even though they were more likely to use them.

The data came from the 1995 Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The study, "Condom Availability Programs in Massachusetts High Schools: Relationship with Condom Use and Sexual Behavior," was published in the American Journal of Public Health (2003;93(6):955-962).

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Adapted from:
Associated Press
05.28.03; Laura Meckler

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.


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