I am one of those people who is firmly in favor of contraception. I think it’s fantastic stuff, for me and other people. And I am absolutely clear about why: I think it’s great that women and men are able to engage in sexual activities without having babies, and I think it’s even greater that women and men can engage in the same activities without STD/STI transmission.

Now, many adults in America agree with that general statement. Here’s the point where everyone starts to disagree, with a large portion simply throwing up their hands and saying they don’t know: When should young people learn about condoms?

And I don’t mean learning that they exists, or even learning the words. I mean actually learning how to actually use them.

Here are some points to ponder:
1. Young women can get pregnant, and everyone can get an STD/STI the first time they have sex.
2. If the first time a young couple sees a condom outside of a package is as they’re trying to put it on, chances are they’re not going to do it right.
3. There is absolutely no relationship between knowledge/information about contraception and earlier sexual activity.

So, young people should learn about condoms early. Certainly before someone goes groping around the dark, trying to figure out which way the condom is inside out. Which basically translates to the earlier the better.

(Picture courtesy of CondomUSA. Go buy some for those you love!)