I just read that a condom manufacturer is marketing a new line of smaller condoms to 12-year-old boys called the “Hotshot.” Swiss condom maker Lamprecht AG decided to produce the prophylactic in response to a study by Switzerland’s Federal Commission for Children and Youth which noted a sharp increase in unprotected sex among youth. They hope the use of these kid-sized condoms will reduce teen pregnancy and the spread of STDs.
To me, the ad slogan, “It fits when passion hits,” is about as crass as is the whole idea of targeting young boys with condoms. Let’s set aside the failure rate of condoms even when used correctly to prevent pregnancy, which is as high as 14%. Let’s set aside the fact that there are naturally occurring holes in latex condoms which are 50x larger than the size of the HIV virus.
And, let’s not dwell on the fact that, as Dr. Brian Clowes notes, “the average sperm cell is about 5 microns in diameter, and the average AIDS virus is about 0.1 micron in size. This means that, in terms of size, an AIDS virus can pass through a latex flaw as easily as a house cat can walk through an open double garage door.”
The more fundamental issue is this: Are the parents failing to talk to their children about sex and abstinence? If parents in Sweden aren’t doing an adequate job in this area—either due to permissive attitudes about sex, or a lack of self-confidence to speak openly with their kids on the topic, then wouldn’t that be the better place to start? Rather than market condoms to kids, why not launch an awareness campaign to educate parents about their need to provide guidance in this area?
I maintain we sell our kids short when we hand them a box of condoms and tell them to play safe when the “passion hits.” I believe we can and must do a better job helping our children understand that sex is best when it’s reserved for marriage. What’s more, even if condoms were 100% effective in the prevention of STDs and pregnancy, there’s a foundational, biblical message I would want my boys to understand.
Sex was God’s idea. He did an awesome job designing it—which is why it’s so beautiful and desirable. At the same time, I’d want Trent and Troy to realize that God’s gift came with a few guidelines. Sex was designed to be enjoyed only within the context of marriage, not before marriage or in an adulterous relationship outside of a marriage. Sex is designed to both allow a couple to “be fruitful and multiply” as well as a means of drawing close in an intimate connection that only two people on the whole planet share.
I realize my boys will face enormous pressure from peers who don’t share this worldview. And, I’m fully aware the biblical framework for sex runs contrary to the message in many films, TV shows and songs. That’s why I plan to talk to them, when the time is right, about why God gave us His guidelines regarding sex. The moment we step out-of-bounds and play by our own rules, that’s when trouble comes—and we miss out on the good stuff God intends for us to experience.
That’s my view. What’s yours?