Impact of a High School Condom Availability Program on Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors

by Mark A. Schuster, Robert M. Bell, Sandra H. Berry, David E. Kanouse

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While making condoms available in high schools has provoked much debate, evidence on the actual effects of such programs on students' attitudes and behavior is sparse. Prior to implementation of a condom availability program in a Los Angeles County high school, 1,945 students in grades 9-12 (98% of eligible students) completed a self-administered anonymous survey on their sexual behavior and on related knowledge and attitudes; one year later, 1,110 students (59% of eligible students) completed a follow-up survey. There was no significant change over time in the percentage of males or females who had ever had vaginal intercourse or who had had vaginal intercourse during the year prior to the survey. The condom availability program appears not to have produced an increase in sexual activity among high school students, and it appears to have led to improved condom use among males.

Originally published in: Family Planning Perspectives, v. 30, no. 2, March/April 1998, pp. 67-72, 88.

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