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Students’ Unedited Questions and Comments about condoms and “safe sex”
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The “safe sex” message that is part of many AIDS prevention programs raises the moral and medical issues of condom use. Students are VERY confused about condoms.
They believe that condoms are 98% effective. The “media’s message” says that you are “responsible” if you use a condom. Since children hear these public discussions, they need accurate information from their parents. The following questions reveal their confusion and can help parents prepare for their discussions with their child.

4th Grade Boys
Do I need to wear a condom when I grow up and have sex?

4th Grade Girls
What is a condom?
Why are condoms different colors?
How do you protect yourself when you have sex?

5th Grade Girls
Are condoms a way to stop human sexuality?
Can a condom stop you from having a baby?
Should know that when we decide in our heart or brain to have sex, we should use a condom.

5th Grade Boys
Are kondoms a way to stop human sexuality?

6th Grade Girls
Why do women use birth control?
6th graders should know how to use a condom.
If you use a condom then you most likely will not get pregnant?
If a guy puts on more than one condom, does it make it safer?

6th Grade Boys
Do all condoms work?
When having sex is wearing a condom against the catholic religion?
What does a female condom look like?

7th Grade Girls
Does is matter what type of condom you use?
What is the best type of condom?
What's the differnce in condom sizes?

7th and 8th Grade
Why do people need condoms?
Do condoms really work?
How do condoms work?
Can you still get pregnant if you use a condom?
What is a condom like—made out of and how does it stay on and does it always work?
How do you use a condom?
How do you use both sex condoms?
How do you take a condom off?
Can condoms rip during sex?
Can you get an STD if you use a condom?
When you want to have a baby (get pregnant) and you don’t use a condom, can you get an STD?
When you have sex and the condom breaks, are you going to get pregnant?
Why should we use condoms/birth control pills when sometimes it doesn’t work and you still end up pregnant?
If a couple was doing it and the condom that they are using bust and they did not notice it, would the woman get pregnant?
Is it important to use a condom on a 13 or 14 year old girl?
What types of contraception work and don’t work?
How do you get condoms?
Where can you get a female condom and how do they work? How do they work?
What kind of condom should you use?
Where could we get birth control? What does it really do? How does it work?

7th and 8th Grade – Kids our age need to know…
Teens should know that they can still get diseases if they are using a condom.
Condoms don’t prevent pregnancy only a certain amount of diseases.
Teens need to know that sometimes wearing a condom etc. is not very protective.
Teenagers need to know why to use protection when having sex.
Teens need to know about safe sex.

High School Students
When is prevention ok?
How are STDs 100% stopped by condoms and the like?
Would wearing two condoms lower the risk of pregnancy?
If a girl is on birth control and the guy is wearing a condom, what are the chances that she would get pregnant?
What is the failure rate of condoms?
How often should you change your condom when you are having sex?
Are condoms more than 80% effective?
How well do condoms protect someone from STDs?
How great is the risk of a condom breaking?
How effective is the use of a condom?

For help in answering these questions please see:
Parents’ Answers — Condom Confusion
Teaching Tools —Myths and Realities” about STDs/HIV Infection
Teaching Tools — The Full Picture – Effectiveness of Birth Control Methods in Preventing Pregnancy and STDs/HIV Infection

Mary Lee O’Connell, CRNP - 8/04