Today, Missouri Student Association leaders proudly announced via email that my voice has been heard! They are pleased to announce the implementation of the pilot Sexual Health and Safety Products Initiative (a.k.a. condom initiative). After two years of debate and deliberation, there are now six sneaky and strategically placed condom dispensers in centrally located dorms at MU.
I’m not sure what this has to do with my voice, as I don’t recall ever wandering up and down the halls of Gillett as a freshman bemoaning the dire lack of available condoms. I suppose I’m in the minority though.
I couldn’t resist their invitation at the end of the email: “If you are curious and want to see a sample of the products being dispensed, please visit the SHAPE website.” I learned a lot. For starters, SHAPE stands for Sexual Health Advocate Peer Education. Now I know. I have to say, I was impressed that the first section on their educational page is on abstinence. Of course, it was set up alphabetically. Abstinence comes way before safe sex in the dictionary. Now you know.
Anyway, as a big fan of abstinence, I’ve been wondering how to feel about this whole condom initiative. The SHAPE website seemed pretty decent, non-biased, and helpful to students of any background, so that’s good. There’s probably a lot of wisdom in the theory that college kids are gonna have sex no matter what anyone does or says, so we should at least make sure they are having safer sex. It’s impossible for even a very naive person to think that most college kids aren’t having sex. I’m not one of those people who thinks if you’re having sex before marriage you deserve an STD or unplanned pregnancy or anything like that, so maybe I should be glad the condoms are easily available now.
On the other hand, is it possible that having condoms so readily available in the dorms encourages spur of the moment sex? I mean, how hard is it to walk into a gas station, WalMart, Walgreens, or anywhere else to buy a box of condoms? If you’re planning on having sex, maybe you should plan on having some condoms ready. I don’t know, maybe I’m being silly or naive. While people must be free to make their own decisions, can’t we agree as a society that big decisions (like whether or not to have sex) should be made after some sort of responsible consideration? If you couldn’t take the time to go out and buy condoms, and absolutely cannot wait but must have sex right now, I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that maybe you haven’t put a whole lot of planning or thought into your decision. Condoms on demand: saving students from planning ahead. After all, thinking about your actions beforehand is just such hard work.
I’m sure a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this, and you have that right. Honestly, I’m still figuring out my opinion and would love to hear arguments for and against my initial reactions. Any and all comments are welcome. (PS- Don’t be afraid to not be anonymous. I’m not.)