BostonLike many Catholic institutions, Boston College does not allow for the distribution of any types of birth control on campus, but up until recently they turned a blind eye to an unofficial campus group’s efforts to pass out free condoms to students.

The Boston College Students for Sexual Health, the group in question, has been handing out condoms and sexual health literature on campus since 2009, but in March, Boston College officials fired off a letter to the group telling them that distributing condoms is not congruent with the “values and traditions” of the school.

The school has a firm abstinence-only approach to sex-ed that goes beyond nixing condom freebies. The New York Times points out that on the college’s website, there is a section on sexually transmitted diseases, but there is no mention of any type of birth control, only abstinence.

Vowing to keep handing out condoms, the chair of the student group Lizzie Jekanowski said in her NYT interview, “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.” The group hands out thousands of condoms every semester.

Handing out thousands of condoms each semester seems to indicate that there’s a need there. Boston College students are getting it in (as many college students do) and they need not only the right tools, but the right information as well. I understand why the school would shun any official endorsement of birth control options (that in itself is a topic for another day), but at least let knowledgeable, well-meaning people do that work.

When I was in college, my father’s insurance did not cover birth control pills (Ridiculous, no?), so I had to pay for it out of pocket. I was fortunate that my university’s pharmacy offered birth control pills for $7/month. Broke college kid that I was, even I could afford that and free condoms were readily available. I can’t imagine if I had been at a school that didn’t take that approach to sexual health. We can’t wish away pre-marital sex. It happens. It will continue to happen. Give the kids jimmy hats.

What do you think about Boston College’s “just say no” policy when it comes to sex? What was your sex-ed experience at your college?

Demetria Irwin is a New York City-based freelance writer/editor. Follow her on Twitter, @Love_Is_Dope.

  • Keshia

    Yes to all of this.

  • Pseudonym

    yES! The pun, the irony, so clever. So damn clever! hahahaha!

  • Pseudonym

    Well, I had no idea Boston College was a Catholic University, so that could be part of it. Also, I’m sure there are a number of Catholic students participating in the premarital sex and condom distribution so it’s not just outsiders trying to change Catholics, but also Catholics saying “Let’s update our perspective.” Also, as a religious organization, BC is getting tax breaks. If they want to no allow other people to make their own choices based on their own religious or other beliefs, then they need to give up those tax breaks- but they never want to do that.

    Also, Catholicism (and related institutions) is basically a mess b/c its leaders protect pedophiles. If you can protect a man who forcibly sodomizes little boys, you can let someone pass out a couple condoms to consenting adults. I mean, seriously.

  • au napptural

    Agreed, Pseudonym. I didn’t even know Boston College was a Catholic school until this article. It’s not like it’s Notre Dame or something. These kids are just trying to get a good education. This stance is outdated, like curfews at HBCUs. People are grown, as long as they pay their tuition, stay in your lane.

  • Anthony

    I don’t get it. The whole idea behind condoms is that you don’t have to pull out!

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