September 14, 2009
I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but I’ve been doing a little bit of research as to why condoms are locked up in certain stores. It has to do with theft – apparently condoms are some of the more often stolen item from pharmacies and owners and managers are concerned that keeping them unlocked will diminish the supply and there won’t be any left for paid customers.
See this article and this article for an example of how one store (ahem, CVS) was slapped on the hand for locking up condoms and is starting to make positive change.
Here’s what I don’t understand – store owners and managers are treating this like it’s a consumer problem. People are stealing their products and they’re losing money. But I don’t think it’s a consumer problem. I think it’s a public health problem. There’s a reason people are stealing them – they may not have the money or are embarrassed to buy them – but they are still having sex. Shouldn’t we be looking at the bigger picture and finding ways to make condom distribution less about making money and more about making sure that all people are protected?
September 12, 2009
As my husband and I were leaving the grocery store yesterday, I noticed that all the condoms and pregnancy tests were locked up at the front of the store. I said to him, “I don’t think condoms should be locked up – way to deter teenagers who are having sex but are embarassed to talk to anyone about it people from buying them.” He agreed, pointing out also that the places that don’t have the condoms locked up often don’t have a self checkout. So a teenager who is having sex but is embarassed to talk to anyone about it person could get the condoms without having to awkwardly ask someone to unlock the cage that they’re in, but then they would still need to go through the checkout line, trying to avoid making eye contact with the cashier (who’s probably thinking, “Someone’s gettin lucky tonight, aren’t they?”).
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe people are more mature than I am. But I just think there’s something slightly awkward about buying condoms. And I’m a married woman – can you imagine what it might be like for a high schooler?
If you’re curious – Publix Grocery Stores has both condoms on the shelves and a self checkout.
I know, I know. If they’re not mature enough to talk about sex, then they’re not mature enough to be having sex. Well, guess what? Kids are going to have sex whether they’re mature enough to talk about it or not. We need to find ways to help them be safe. Locking the condoms up so they not only have to buy them but also have to ask some random employee to get them a package?
Then we’re forced to have the conversation because kids are either contracting STDs or dealing with unplanned pregnancies. Oy.
Free the condoms!!