Springfield Public Schools Considering Condom Availability Program
The Alliance supports the recommendations of the Springfield Adolescent Sexual Health Advisory to include a condom availability program for students in Springfield Public Schools.
Springfield currently has the 4th highest teen birth rate in Massachusetts, and the second-highest STD rates in the state. For more Springfield data check out our fact sheet.
School-Based Condom Availability Programs Increase Condom Use and May Decrease Sexual Activity
· Massachusetts adolescents attending schools where condoms were available were twice as likely to use condoms during their most recent sex, and less likely to report ever having sex or recent sex.
· In a 2-year study of nine Philadelphia schools, the percent of students using condoms at last intercourse rose from 52 to 58 percent with the opening of Health Resource Centers that provided condoms; the number of students ever having intercourse dropped from 75 to 66 percent in the 2 years following the opening of the centers.
· When students use condoms at first sex, they are more likely to use them consistently in the future.
· A study of New York City’s school condom availability program found a significant increase in condom use among sexually active students but no increase in sexual activity.
A Recent Study of Condom Availability in Holyoke Public Schools Shows Positive Results
· Increased condom availability in Holyoke Public Schools corresponded with a significant decrease in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among teen boys.
· During the study period, Springfield experienced an increase in STIs among teen boys.
Condom Availability Programs Are Supported by Educators and Medical Professionals
· The Massachusetts Board of Education recommends that every school committee, in consultation with superintendents, administrators, faculty, parents and students consider making condoms available in schools.
· The Institute of Medicine, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association have all adopted policies recommending that condoms be made available to adolescents as part of comprehensive school health programs.
Blake, Susan M, et al. (2003). Condom Availability Programs in Massachusetts High Schools: Relationships with Condom Use and Sexual Behavior (2004). American Journal of Public Health, 93(6): 955-962.
Furstenburg, FF, et al. (1997). Philadelphia’s Health Resource Centers. Family Planning Perspectives, 29: 123-127.
Guttmacher S, et al. (1997).Condom Availability in New York City Public Schools: Relationships to Condom Use and Sexual Behavior.American Journal of Public Health, American Journal of Public Health, 87:1427-1433.
Shafii, Taraneh et al. (2004). Is Condom Use Habit Forming? Condom Use at Sexual Debut and Subsequent Condom Use. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 31(6): 366-372.
For more on our work in Springfield and Holyoke, please see our Youth First page.