Policy Factsheet

Condom Availability in Schools

Reasons for Policy

  • In 2003, 34.3% of adolescents were sexually active 1
  • In 2003, 46.7% of adolescents had sexual intercourse at least once1
  • In 2003, 14.4% of adolescents had 4 or more sexual partners1
  • Schools are one of the best ways to reach adolescents because nearly 95% of youth aged 5-17 years are enrolled.2

Community Groups

  • Local Government
  • Local School District

Policy Components

  • Have condoms available in schools without restrictions (e.g. in an open basket in school health center)

Desired Outcomes

  • Lower rates of teenage STIs and pregnancy
  • Lower rates of sexual risk behaviors
  • Higher rates of safer sex practices

Level of Evidence Available to Evaluate Effectiveness of Policy

For all policies we describe on this website, we have applied the Standards of Evidence as defined by Flay et al. (2005) in the Standards of Evidence document published by Prevention Science.

The effectiveness level of this policy is 3: Insufficient Evidence Available.

The levels of effectiveness as noted are:

  1. meets criteria for policy effectiveness (consistent, positive outcomes from at least two high-quality experimental or quasi-experimental trials using a comparison group or interrupted time series design);
  2. consistent evidence available linking policy with positive outcomes from high-quality observational studies only;
  3. insufficient evidence available for policy or policy components.

Achievable Results

  • The evidence of effectiveness for these programs is mixed and limited by studies with poor scientific merit. More research is needed.2


  1. Ahern NR & Kiehl EM (2006). Adolescent sexual health & practice-A review of the literature: Implications for healthcare providers, educators, and policy makers. Family Community Health, 29(4), 299-313.  

  2. Kirby D (2002). The impact of schools and school programs upon adolescent sexual behavior. The Journal of Sex Research, 39(1), 27-33.  

  3. Flay, BR, Biglan, A, Boruch, RF, Ganzalez Castro, F, Gottfredson, D, Kellam, S, Moscicki, EK, Schinke, S, Valentine, JC, & Ji, P (2005). Standards of evidence: Criteria for efficacy, effectiveness and dissemination. Prevention Science, 6(3), 151-175.