Who could've possibly seen this coming?
A study coming out of the University of Notre Dame indicates that high school condom distribution programs may increase the rates of teen pregnancy and STD's.
So all those people who say that they're pro-life but support anti-life politicians because they're for condom distribution programs which will lead to less teen pregnancy and less abortion might want to re-think that.
My buddy Michael New of Ave Maria University wrote at The Corner:
The study is very rigorous. The authors identified 22 school districts in twelve states that launched condom-distribution programs during the 1990s. Some of these school districts are among the largest in the country including New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.It's a peculiar thing which happens when you label it "safe sex." Kids actually believe it's safe. Sheesh. Wonder where they got that idea?
Overall, the study analyzes teen-fertility data from 396 high-population counties over a span of 19 years. A range of demographic and economic factors are held constant. It finds that if 100 percent of high-school students attended a school with a condom-distribution program, the teen-fertility rate would increase anywhere from 10 to 12 percent.
Furthermore, this finding was fairly consistent across school districts with condom-distribution programs. The researchers were unable to determine how exactly the condom-distribution program increased teen-fertility rates. There is a possibility that these programs reduced the usage of oral contraceptives which tend to be more reliable. There is a possibility that after condom-distribution programs were instituted, there was less emphasis on programs encouraging teens to delay sexual activity. Finally, there is a possibility that condom-distribution programs resulted in more teen sexual activity.
Interestingly, the study finds sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) increased in counties with condom-distribution programs. While this provides evidence that condom-distribution programs encouraged sexual risk taking — the authors warn that this finding has to be interpreted cautiously. Thus study has received some coverage from some mainstream-media outlets such as Vox and Slate. However, their spin is that condom-distribution programs need to be coupled with either counseling programs or sex-education curricula in order to be effective. The study does find that counseling programs result in reductions in the teen-fertility rate. However, most of the regressions find these reductions fail to offset the increase in teen fertility associated with the condom-distribution program.
Overall, the study adds to an impressive body of research which shows that efforts to encourage contraceptive use either through mandates, subsidies, or distribution are ineffective at best or counterproductive at worst.
Read the rest of Michael New's piece at The Corner.