May 29, 2003
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:
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).
05.28.03; Laura Meckler