Extra-small condoms for preteen boys went on sale this week in Switzerland, London's Telegraph newspaper reported.
The condom, called "the Hotshot," is sized to fit boys as young as 12 and comes in response to government research that found an increase in the rate of sex (and unprotected sex) among 12- to 14-year-olds.
I think most of us can agree on two things: 1) that 12 is too young to be having sex, and 2) that protected sex is better than the alternative. Possibly a third point of agreement: Europeans have an altogether different societal view of sex than Americans.
And yet I can't help but wonder about the 12-year-old Swiss boy who hasn't yet gotten past the "girls are gross" phase when he passes these in the pharmacy.
Yes, study after study shows that distributing condoms to teens doesn't increase the rate of sex (rather, it increases the rate of safe sex).
But those condoms aren't specially marketed for the 12-to-14 crowd. "The Hotshot" has one clear message: Somebody thinks enough 12-year-olds are having sex to warrant making a condom specially for them. Which brings me back to the youngster who wonders why he isn't.
I wonder if this isn't one of those situations where attempts to get out in front of one problem (unprotected sex among preteens) actually creates or aggravates another one (sexualization at an ever-younger age).
What do you think? Condoms for 12-year-olds?