Do Extra-Small Rubbers for 12-Year-Olds Make Condom Sense?
Talk about your teenie weenies: A Swedish company is selling condoms designed to fit 12-year-old boys.
Standard condoms are two inches in diameter. This new condom, called the Hotshot, comes in a wee bit smaller, at 1.7 inches.
Swiss condom maker Lamprecht AG began making the condoms, after a study conducted on behalf of the country's Federal Commission for Children and Youth uncovered an increased amount of unprotected sex among children between the ages of 12 and 14, according to a report in London's Daily Telegraph.
Nysse Norballe, a spokesperson for Lamprecht, tells the newspaper the company would like to expand into other markets, particularly the United Kingdom, because of the UK's "very high rate of underage conception," the highest in Europe, according to the Telegraph.
That statistic is easy to believe in light of the 2009 story about the 15-year-old British girl Chantelle Stedman who gave birth to a daughter. Alfie Patten, 13, originally thought he was the father, but DNA tests later showed that he was not. In other words, the young people involved were sexually active enough that the child's paternity was an open question.
At the time, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown "refused to comment directly on the story but said it was important that the government did all it could to prevent teenage pregnancies," according to a story in The Sun last year.
Researcher Nancy Bodmer, who ran a government study at the Centre for Development and Personality Psychology at Basel University, tells the Telegraph they were "shocked" by results that showed young boys "do not have a very developed sexual knowledge," and that boys "leave the young girls to take care of the consequences." The researchers concluded "that early prevention makes sense."
The makers of the Hotshot might want to skip the United States when considering growth opportunities. A recent article in The Atlantic uncovered a certain hesitation among condom makers to use the word "small" when discussing male prophylactic sizing. LifeStyles brand, for example, uses the phrase "Snugger Fit."
Related: How to Use a Condom
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.