We would not dare judge someone for going to the gym to work out to maintain a healthy body. We would
not dare judge someone for taking vitamins every day. We would not dare judge someone for ordering a salad. But the same does not go for those that seek condoms and birth control. Why do we commend those who exercise, eat right, and take care of their bodies but shame those who use birth control and condoms?
They are all the same thing because the use of condoms and birth control betters our health.
I get it. Condoms and birth control are not considered normal by many people, especially in the
conservative South where I come from. Despite this stigma, 96 percent of sexually experienced females have used condoms at least once and 56 percent have used the birth control pill. We see that the use of various contraceptive methods are not uncommon among young women, and they only benefit from having access to such protection. However, I have friends who are denied birth control pills from their parents because they believe their children are supposedly too young to have sex. I know boys who cannot go into our local Walgreens to buy condoms because they are made to feel ashamed by store workers and adults in the store. By attaching stigma to young people seeking contraceptives, we are doing a disservice to the health of our youth.
We need to wake up and realize that sex is something that is natural and going to happen for the vast majority of people at some point in their life. Many teens are going to do it, if they aren’t already sexually active. It is inevitable. As people begin to cope with teenagers having sex, we also need to understand that if we do not want unplanned teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, then contraceptives need to be seen as normal and acceptable. If we want people to make healthy decisions, then going to buy condoms and using birth control should be viewed as a smart decision and something that is commendable. If
people do not start seeing the use of contraceptives as normal, then we will never get rid of unintended pregnancies and STDs running throughout our communities.
The use of birth control and condoms needs to be seen as normal as going to the gym, eating a salad, or taking daily vitamins. After all, once someone has chosen to be sexually active, the use of contraceptives is, indeed, a healthy choice.