Why won’t a teenager use a condom or any other preventive?

Knowledge gaps

The young person may have faulty or insufficient knowledge on how sexually transmitted diseases are contracted and how pregnancy happens. For example, he/she may have only partial knowledge about how sexually transmitted diseases can be contracted during oral sex. Even though the teenager may have heard the information, he/she may still disregard it in practice.

Trusting one’s luck

Some teenagers trust that their good luck will last; if you haven’t contracted anything before, you won’t now, either. The same goes for pregnancy. However, good luck can’t last forever.

The unpredictability of having sex

If a young person has sex randomly, it’s possible that they haven’t prepared for sex by taking care of prevention beforehand; for example, not having bought condoms in advance.

Communication issues

Communication issues can be an obstacle for partners to talk about prevention, especially in a new relationship. Young people may have difficulty suggesting the use of preventives, because they fear that it will kill the mood or that their partner will see it as a vote of no confidence.

Using a condom

Using a condom requires practice. There are a few technical tricks to rolling it on, getting it to stay on properly and taking it off; it would be good to practice and learn them well before having sex with someone.

Perceived disadvantages of the condom

The perceived disadvantages of the condom have sparked a lot of talk that needs to be countered. Rolling the condom on may result in a momentary weakening of the erection; this should be normalized. Also, it’s important to inform people about using lubricants. Condoms come in different shapes and sizes – by testint different ones you’ll find the one that suits you. Sex often becomes even more enjoyable, when the partners know that together they are protected from diseases and pregnancy, if necessary.

Having sex while under the influence

Being under the influence lowers a person’s threshold of risk-taking, makes communicating difficult and generally distracts the persons from thinking about prevention. Having sex while under the influence is already an ordinary occurrence among lower secondary school teenagers.

Problems acquiring condoms

The price of a packet, personal coyness or receiving excessive attention while shopping for condoms (especially in smaller communities) are all reasons that may stop a person from purchasing condoms. If condoms haven’t been purchased in advance and an intimate mood suddenly develops, even the shortest trip to the local store may seem unreasonable. That’s why you should have condoms at the ready and always keep them with you as part of your trusted goodie pack.

Inavailability of services

Difficulty in getting through to services (such as long queues to prevention counselling) may deter people from getting hormonal preventives. Also, fear of doctors and of being branded within a smaller community, restricted opening hours during the summer etc. may cause people to put off getting the services they need.

The price of preventives

Condoms as well as hormonal preventives may be too pricy for young people.

Feeling low

People who are feeling low or depressed are known to be more prone to disregard prevention. This may be caused by a difficulty communicating, a reduced ability to assess risk, lowered self-esteem and outsourcing responsibility to the partner.

Early trauma

A person, who has experienced violence in early childhood or youth, been mistreated or neglected, may struggle with providing prevention for themselves and others. This may be due to the results of depression, low self-esteem and a distorted risk assessment ability.