We know that age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education gives better sexual health outcomes for young people such as less unintended pregnancies and less Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs). Condoms play a large part in this.
Giving education is not giving permission. Discussions about sex, sexuality and sexual intimacy should also include family values, beliefs, local laws, pleasure, responsibility, health services access and much much more so that teens can make informed decisions.
I think you can’t talk to young people about sex, sexuality and intimacy without talking about condoms – because sexual encounters that involve penetration should nearly always include condoms for young people.
Scarleteen is an excellent resource for accurate sexuality information for teens.
I like their comment about condoms: “…Condom use is just like tying your shoes: tying them all the time may be a bother sometimes, but if you don’t do it, you’ll trip and fall on your face. The consequences here can be far worse….” I would add that just like tying your shoes, it takes practice to do it right each time. I think teens should all have access to condoms to practice with them, even if they do not have a penis, so they feel confident and comfortable when it comes to using them. Parents should consider having condoms available for their teens, this will be easier if condoms have been part of ongoing family conversations over time.