Condom Distribution in High Schools

Issue Overview

  • High rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancies among adolescents
  • Condoms are one the most effective methods of contraception
  • Condom availability programs (CAPs) began in the 1990s (“Condom availability programs,” 2019)
  • Positive effects
  • Controversies

Condom Distribution in High Schools as an Ethical Issue

  • Controversies about whether condom distribution is a matter of safety or whether it is immoral
  • Condom distribution in high schools is proved to have a positive impact (“Condom availability programs,” 2019).
  • Believed to promote negative sexual behavior and increase sexual activity (Wang et al., 2018)
  • Raises the concerns about restricting adolescents’ access to information
  • Ethical dilemma related to confidentiality and parental consent requirements

Positive Effects of Condom Distribution in High Schools

  • Increases condom acquisition and use (Wang et al., 2018)
  • Minimizes risks related to unprotected sex (Wang et al., 2018)
  • Prevents unwanted pregnancies in adolescents (Segal, 2020)
  • Helps to reduce the spread of STDs (Segal, 2020)
  • Positively influences sex behavior (Wang et al., 2018)

Negative Effects of Condom Distribution in High Schools

  • Gives students a false sense of security
  • Lack of experience with condom implementation causes them to be ineffective
  • Diminishes the role of the family in sexual education
  • Interferes with religious beliefs
  • Legitimizes sexual activity (Segal, 2020)

The Role of Nurses in Condom Availability Programs

  • Reducing high-risk sexual behavior
  • Providing sex education
  • Health care support
  • Common barriers: administration, parents, cost, community support, and policies (Smith et al., 2019)
  • Ways to overcome the barriers

Nurses as Advocates for Condom Availability at High Schools

  • Nurses are trusted and given more credibility when compared with other professionals
  • They are able to move forward with policies that support adolescents
  • They possess specialized technical and scientific knowledge
  • They have an ethical obligation to support those for whom they provide care
  • Have the means to advocate locally and nationally for the provision of condoms at schools (The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, 2017)

Issues Related to Condom Distribution in High Schools

  • Lack of awareness among school administration of sexual health issues
  • Lack of support for sex education programs
  • Lack of parental support
  • Inconsistent policies
  • Lack of comprehensive sex education programs

Issues Faced by Nurses in Condom Distribution Programs

  • Confidentiality
  • Establishing trust
  • Condom use training
  • Psychological issues, such as overcoming embarrassment
  • Ethical dilemmas

Scholarly Experts’ Positions on Condom Distribution in High Schools

  • Scientific papers report positive effects (“CATs: In brief,” 2019)
  • Negative effects are primarily connected with ethical issues
  • Legal controversies
  • The need to develop comprehensive programs
  • The lack of parent’s and teachers’ awareness is the main challenge

Scholarly Arguments for Condom Distribution Effectiveness

  • Schools provide an ideal setting for access to condoms
  • Adolescence is a period of transition to sexuality
  • Condoms are highly effective
  • Condom availability programs are proven to have positive effects
  • Sex education is an important element of health education (The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, 2017)

Legal Issues Connected with Condom Distribution in High Schools

  • Ethical implications of requiring parental consent for condom availability
  • Legal considerations related to parental consent requirements
  • Confidentiality issues
  • Legal issues as a smokescreen for other problems
  • Condom availability in the broader context of other legal issues related to adolescent health

Strategies to Address the Issue of Condom Distribution in High Schools

  • Development of comprehensive sex education programs
  • Establishment of children’s legal rights
  • Development of effective distribution programs
  • Increasing parents’ and teachers’ awareness of sexual health issues
  • Collaboration with school administration and health care organizations

Components of an Effective Condom Availability Program

  • Trained distributors
  • Promotional materials and activities
  • Coordination with relevant health care professionals
  • Parental notification
  • Privacy and confidentiality (“Condom availability programs,” 2019)

Future of the Issue for Nursing Practice

  • Recognizing challenges
  • Overcoming barriers
  • Increasing awareness
  • Promoting sex education
  • Development of comprehensive programs


Condom availability programs (CAPs): In brief. (2019). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web.

Segal, R. (2020). Should we distribute condoms in high schools? The Perspective. Web.

Smith, S., Platt, J. M., Clifford, D., Preston, M., Satterwhite, C., Kelly, P. J., & Ramaswamy, M. (2019). A state-level examination of school nurses’ perceptions of condom availability accompanied by sex education. The Journal of School Nursing, 36(5). Web.

The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. (2017). Condom availability in schools: A practical approach to the prevention of sexually transmitted infection/HIV and unintended pregnancy. Journal of Adolescent Health, 60(6), 754–757. Web.

Wang, T., Lurie, M., Govindasamy, D., & Mathews, C. (2018). The effects of school-based condom availability programs (CAPs) on condom acquisition, use and sexual behavior: A systematic review. AIDS and Behavior, 22(1), 308–320. Web.

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NursingBird. (2022, June 22). Condom Distribution in High Schools. Retrieved from


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Work Cited

"Condom Distribution in High Schools." NursingBird, 22 June 2022,


NursingBird. (2022) 'Condom Distribution in High Schools'. 22 June.


NursingBird. 2022. "Condom Distribution in High Schools." June 22, 2022.

1. NursingBird. "Condom Distribution in High Schools." June 22, 2022.


NursingBird. "Condom Distribution in High Schools." June 22, 2022.