Story by Emily VanSchmus
On any typical Saturday, countless pairs of students will go home together at the end of the night, and only half of them will have a condom readily available. Chances are, the half without protection available will have unprotected sex anyway.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have found that in the last 10 years, the number of young adults practicing safe sex by using condoms has decreased by 10 percent.
In today’s college lifestyle, 50 percent of all sexually active college students do not use condoms or protection of any kind.
NBC News reports that although teen pregnancy numbers are at an all-time low, STD numbers are at an all-time high: HPV and Chlamydia are sweeping college campuses like an epidemic.
After a long night of partying, a distracted student may be more likely to consent to sex without protection, without thinking about the fact that sexually transmitted diseases are easily preventable.
The main question in this situation is why students decide to go out with the intention of bringing someone home with them but do not feel the need to be prepared with protection.
Answers to this question varied, but ultimately led to a general consensus that the availability of a condom would not be the deciding factor on whether or not they would agree to have sex.
Madeline Cohen, a first-year student, explains why she believes other students have no problem with unprotected sex.
“I feel like a lot of students don’t feel the need to use condoms because they trust their partners, but you never really know what could be out there,” Cohen said.
Students who have become used to unprotected sex don’t feel the need to have condoms on hand because they are accustomed to not using protection, and students in long-term relationships said that the longer they had been together, the less likely they would be to use protection.
In their studies, the CDC concluded that condom availability is not necessarily a cause for the decrease in students practicing safe sex.
Condoms (in a variety of colors and flavors) are always available for free in the Student Health Center and can also be purchased at on-campus locations such as the C-Store, but this has not yet led to a large-scale safe-sex movement among students at Drake.
A group of students at the College of New Jersey found a way to promote safe sex in a way that was both helpful and humorous, creating an upswing in the number of students who began to use protection for every sexual encounter.
At the College of New Jersey, a student can call, text or fill out an online form requesting a condom, and the ‘Condom Ambulance’ is guaranteed to arrive within five minutes to any campus location.
Several students at Drake thought this effort would be effective on our campus as well because it uses humor and creativity to promote the more serious matter of STD and pregnancy prevention.
As the Condom Ambulance proudly proclaims, it is committed to, “Saving lives … and preventing them, too.”