Boston College is making headlines because some campus groups want to quit handing out free condoms. Apparently having access to free condoms, according to these people, encourages hooking up. And hooking up is apparently the worst thing ever in the world, and if you don’t give people free condoms, it will make them stop hooking up. In college. Does anyone else see the lack of logic here?
Here’s where the problem is. Boston College is a Catholic school, and it has been pretty much forever. So when a campus group called Boston College Students for Sexual Health started distributing free condoms, birth control pamphlets, sexually transmitted disease information and anything else that implies that Boston College students may be having sex before marriage, people got pissed.
Part of why it’s a problem is that the Boston College Students for Sexual Health group is an unofficial campus group. As a result, when Boston College administrators asked the group to knock off its Friday afternoon practices of distributing STD info and condoms, the group felt genuine and real pressure to oblige. What’s more? A lot of Boston College students actually side with the school.
Katelyn Conroy, part of the Boston College Pro-Life Club, told The New York Times, “Having condoms distributed on campus is the university kind of validating hookup culture. The argument is that condoms prevent the spread of STDs, but, really, if you hand out condoms on campus, it puts an idea in their head.”
Um, Katelyn? That idea was probably already in their heads. In both of their heads. For a while. Additionally, Katelyn’s argument sort of contradicts that of another student who’s against the condom distribution. Boston College senior Nathaniel Sanders griped, “To sort of be treated like either we’re not adults enough to provide for ourselves, or in some instance we’re animals that can’t control our passions, I think it’s degrading to the student body.”
Guys, which one is it? Are you animals that can’t control yourselves because you’re so easily swayed by a free condom that you’re going to go around boning everyone you see? Or was that idea there already and you just think the group is driving home that temptation with their evil free condoms? And just throwing this out there, but isn’t AIDS degrading to not only the student body, but also the human body?
Listen, for argument’s sake, let’s say that hooking up is morally wrong. (Again, just for argument’s sake!) Arguing that a free condom puts an idea to start hooking up in someone’s head is akin to saying that wearing a seatbelt puts an idea in someone’s head to drive drunk: You may truly think it’s morally the wrong thing to do (in the latter case, it is), but chances are whether or not you had the safety gear handy, you’d probably do it anyway.
But the group made a really convincing argument as to why, despite condoms, hooking up and premarital sex generally being against most Catholic beliefs, this may technically fall in line with the religion.
“Students are going to be having sex regardless, and unless they have the education to know that you need to use a condom every time–for pregnancy prevention, STI prevention–and unless they have them available, they’re not going to use it,” Boston College senior and group chairwoman Lizzie Jekanowski said. “It harkens to a much deeper Catholic morality of caring for your neighbor–and that’s literally what we’re doing, is caring for our neighbors.”
Additionally, a big Biblical teaching is that only God can judge anyone. If Katelyn and Nathaniel and their pals don’t want free condoms or aren’t into hooking up, here’s an awesome idea: They can simply not take the free condoms and they can abstain from hooking up–and from judging anyone else who chooses to do so safely and responsibly. Free condoms don’t promote hooking up, but they may plant a seed for someone hooking up already to do so in a healthy manner.
Plus, let’s be honest: If these people think a free condom is a legitimate threat that leads Boston College students to start hooking up, chances are those students’ convictions weren’t that strong to begin with. Haters and slut shamers, take a seat.
Do you think Boston College should ban free condoms? Do you think giving out free condoms promotes hooking up? Tell us in the comments!