Sunday 21 March 2010
Alexandra Williams in Geneva
Called the Hotshot, the condom has been produced after government research showed 12 to14-year-olds did not use sufficient protection when having sex.
The study, conducted on behalf of the Federal Commission for Children and Youth, interviewed 1,480 people aged 10 to 20.
It showed more 12 to 14-year-olds were having sex, in comparison with the 1990s.
The Hotshot condoms, which cost 7fr60 (£4.70) for a packet of six, have been created by Lamprecht AG, a leading condom manufacturer in Switzerland.
The company has said the UK would be “top priority” if they expanded abroad, considering that it has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe.
Family planning groups and the Swiss Aids Federation campaigned to have the Hotshot produced after a number of studies, including the government study researched at the Centre for Development and Personality Psychology at Basel University.
Nancy Bodmer, who headed the research, said: “The result that shocked us concerned young boys who display apparently risky behaviour. They have more of a tendency not to protect themselves. They do not have a very developed sexual knowledge. They do not understand the consequences of what they are doing and leave the young girls to take care of the consequences.
“The results of this study suggest that early prevention makes sense.”
Hotshots! I can’t say I’m at all surprised. My first husband boasted of having lost his virginity at the age of eight on his paper route to a suburban housewife with an erm… abundance of knowledge. Throughout my lifetime I’ve heard more than just a few ‘men’ cop to having engaged in sexual intercourse prior to having two digits in their age number. So I guess I’m just not ‘shocked’ by the results of the above study.
And when you follow history from generation to generation, each becoming more educated and freer than the last, one can see that we inadvertantly expose our children to progressively more things that tend to quash their innocence at progressively earlier ages.
Case in point: My three year-old sister would never have been seated at a dinner table in front of television during a news story graphically depicting rape, torture and murder. My mother would have been mortified. My father would have called the television station and ripped the producers a new one. Today, my grandchildren are not only exposed to it – they’re expected to deal with it. It’s all around them. The sex and violence. It’s in advertisemets and youtube clips. It’s in everyday conversations and Facebook posts.
The primary target of video game creators is 15 year-old boys. That, by the way, is the universal age of consent in video game-eze. Packaging around the world on ‘adult-visual’ graphics in games contains the disclaimer “Not suitable for children under 15 years of age”. World of Warcraft, which has a following of more than 9 million players, has a parental mode installed which allows for the characters above the numbers on your keyboard (@#$%^&*) to automatically replace swear words in the chat fields. Then it pits your 12 year-old son in a bear costume against warrior women in skimpy bikinis and very, very big bossoms. Well it’s ok, really, they all wear helms and boots.
My point is, technology puts everything about life in our kids faces whether we want it to be this way or not. So while I’m certainly not advocating the loss of virginity at age 12, I also acknowledge that it happens, and with more frequency than makes the rest of us comfortable. So for me, the bottom line is – I want my grandkids to be able to make mistakes that don’t kill them the first time out. If that means giving the pre-teens access to condoms and educating them about sexual intercourse, then so be it. Beats having to measure for a coffin.
But putting all the philosophical waxing aside… I do so want to be a fly on the wall when the news of these little hotshots swishes up Sarah Palin’s skirt. And then I want to see her and Glenn Beck discuss it on the air – face to face – I’m guessing Beck wouldn’t be able to appear on camera without having a newspaper covering his lap.
I can see the veins on her rebuilt neck pulsating now…
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title Extra Small Condoms for 12 Year-Olds Launch Their Debut In Switzerland and click the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud