Rethinking Condom Education and Training

It is a worrying ordeal when the man finally pulls out and then oops! The condom broke, slipped, or whatever happened during the adrenaline rush.

A plethora of thoughts can start rushing into the duo's head. Is someone at the risk of pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and such? 

Well, it turns out that the Condom Education our health bodies share does not prepare people to deal with condom slips or tears.

Adolescents, in particular, get caught in catch-22 when a condom breaks or slips because we train them that condoms hardly ever break if used appropriately.

But there you are, you probably followed every rule when using protection, but somehow things got out hand.

Studies Show Adolescents are at High Risk of Breaks and Slips

According to a joint 2018 study that featured researchers from ETR and experts from Public Health, Seattle & King County, nearly 25 percent of high school learners reported cases of condom tear or slips during intercourse.

Even worse, when asked to explain how they used condoms, nearly 7 out of 10 said they did not pinch the condom tip while wearing it. 5 in 10 admitted they did not hold the condom at the penis base when pulling it out.

The findings from this study are signs cases of tear, slips and spills are rampant among sexually-active students than we imagine.

Yet sex educators do not look beyond "how to use a condom." Many of them forget that, for an adolescent, a broken condom can lead to confusion—and eventually, pregnancy or infection.

Note: Stealthing is Different Than Slips, Leaks and Tears

Sometimes a condom does not slip off or tear by accident. Instead, one partner tries to tear or slip a condom for their personal reasons or benefits— a practice known as Stealthing.

Stealthing is wrong and can lead to severe charges (of rape and assault) in a court of law. It's considered a malicious act because the perpetrator goes against the rules of sexual consent.

Consent does not end when a partner agrees to have sex; it continues throughout the encounter. That means if a partner insists on the use of a condom, then so be it. Slipping out a condom without your partner's permission, or Stealthing can lead to serious lawsuits.

We Must Change Our Approach towards sex training and  Condom Education

The results from the adolescent study show that the condom education we offer is inconclusive.  

Why? because it trains students that condoms suffice when it comes to preventing pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections— and fails to prepare people for condom slips and breaks.

For an adolescent, a slip-off or torn condom can be confusing; add to the stigma surrounding sex, STIs, and adolescent pregnancy, and the effects can be much worse.

While pregnancy can be dealt with secretly and silently, by OTC contraceptives, young people may not be willing to go for STD testing. Some who may be willing to do a test may hold back because of the stigma surrounding sex and STIs, lack of knowledge, or lack of the resources (money) to do a test.

Timely intervention is necessary anytime a condom slips or breaks. A young person may stay in a dilemma for days—and go beyond the time-limit for contraception or interventions like PREP.

All the above factors explain why we must strive to educate adolescents on what to do in case of condom slips or tears. Educators must now concentrate on training beyond condom demonstrations and focus on contraceptives and STD testing.

Condoms are Effective, As long as You Use Them Right

Nothing is perfect, and condoms aren't trying to join be! We know that condoms are an effective way to prevent conception and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

But mistakes and accidents can compromise the effectiveness of your condom. And when it does, you should be ready to deal with it.

To Wrap Up

It's time to bridge the gap in sex training and condom education and offer a complete training to our young ones. While everything may be obvious for grownups, your high-school son or daughter may not have the slightest idea of what to do.