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Mini-Condoms for 12-Year-Olds?!

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Swiss teens will soon be able to walk into any pharmacy and buy condoms designed with their smaller girth in mind.

Kid looking at condoms

Ronda Kaysen: A condom manufacturer has unveiled a line of smaller condoms called "Hotshot," aimed at boys as young as 12. The new mini-prophylactics will be sold in packages alongside regular-size options in case the wearer, well ... doesn't fit.

Family-planning and anti-AIDS advocacy groups pressed for the kid-friendly option after studies in Switzerland showed that teens were having unprotected sex. The new condoms will be 1.7 inches in diameter, compared to the 2-inch standard condoms. (According to a German study of about 13,000 people, a quarter of 13- to 20-year-olds reported that standard condoms were too big.)

"The result that shocked us concerned young boys who display apparently risky behavior," Nancy Bodmer, who headed the research, told the Daily Telegraph. "They have more of a tendency not to protect themselves. They do not have a very developed sexual knowledge. They do not understand the consequences of what they are doing, and leave the young girls to take care of the consequences."

So far, Switzerland is the only country where these tiny condoms will be sold -- but the United Kingdom has expressed interest. Who knows? Soon enough, they could go global.

As much as the idea of a 12-year-old having sex makes me uncomfortable, I think this is great. Kids are having sex whether we like it or not, and a condom marketed to them might make them less resistant to using protection. Let's face it: They were having sex when I was a teenager, so I can't imagine things have changed much in 15 years. If there's a way to keep them safe from disease and pregnancy, I'm all for it.

The abstinence-only crowd might find this new condom unsettling, but the Hotshot is pure marketing anyway. Smaller condoms -- marketed as the snug-fit variety -- have graced American pharmacy shelves for years. Most brands make them, and they're the same 1.7-inch width as the new Swiss option. The only difference is, the packaging isn't designed to entice an adolescent.

next: 2010 Census: Dora Wants Kids to Count
22 comments so far | Post a comment now
Ashlee Holland March 4, 2010, 12:59 PM

I am With you on this on… As much as this makes me insane… Actually tear up… it is the truth! I would rather my son (8) strap up, than make a HUGE mistake at a VERY young age that will change his life….

Scary….but I am glad they took notice and are taking action.

Disgusted and dismayed March 4, 2010, 1:18 PM

I guess if parent’s aren’t going to teach their 12 year olds to ABSTAIN and to refrain from hanging out with a promiscuous crowd, then it makes sense that someone takes responsibility for the safety of children.

Personally, I didn’t realize it was legal for 12 year olds to have sex. Isn’t that nice they have made condoms specifically for pedophiles, how thoughtful? :P

Sara March 4, 2010, 1:42 PM


But still, much better than a 12 year old father. Because that’s a much bigger disaster, if that 12 year old manages to get a girl pregnant and then we either have an aborted baby or a child having a baby (which some seem to think is an acceptable risk because giving unmarried people condoms are wrong, we should just expect that kids will do what they’re told 100% of the time).

Does the above poster really think that a 12 year old that’s having sex is a pedophile? They should be arrested for raping themselves?

Anonymous March 4, 2010, 3:04 PM

@Disgusted and Dismayed
First, there is no law that sais kids cant have sex. Second, having sex doesnt make you a pedphile. But you are clearly a retarted christian who cant see anyone’s views but your own so get hit by a train k thanks bye.

Anonymous March 4, 2010, 3:20 PM

Thank god finally at 40 I can have a condom that fits

Anonymous March 4, 2010, 3:28 PM

does disgusted and dismayed think that these 12 year old pedophile boys are going for the 20 something crowd or do you think they might be having sex with 12 year old pedophile girls …does disgusted and dismayed know what a pedophile is?

if the shoe fits March 4, 2010, 4:29 PM

Hooray! A condom made for 27 year old ex!

Smaller Condoms March 4, 2010, 6:55 PM

Thats just way to young. Its great that their safe but why are the children thinking about “doing the naughty” in the first place?

Kristin March 4, 2010, 8:15 PM

I’m with the “better safe than sorry” crowd on this one. They’re already doing it, at least now they will have some protection. I’m not saying that at 12 years old I (or anyone else I have ever met or probably WILL ever meet) was ready to have sex but I was even LESS prepared to become a parent at that age! Besides, I’m sure there’s lots of older guys who are happy that a smaller condom will be available. (And there’s NOTHING wrong with that, guys!)

Anonymous March 5, 2010, 12:39 AM

That makes logic? Kids are having sex whether we like it or not??? I think it’s bad parenting, not the kids.

Becky March 5, 2010, 7:41 AM

The question isn’t bad parenting: kids who are talked to about sex and kids who aren’t talked to about sex are BOTH going to be driven by their puberty-induced impulses. It’s not like we can say “Where did I fail? Who can I blame?” There’s no one to blame when it’s a normal human development - and yes, it historically starts as young as 8-12 (this is not new.) Ignoring this basic fact will put our kids at even greater risk: they’ll FEAR coming to us for help and turn to the internet for “options” or choose to “wing it.” I’d MUCH rather get the awkward discussion over and done with to let my kid know she can come to her mom or dad with anything than risk losing her trust on this CRUCIAL matter. I personally think that open communication about love and relationships will help our kids understand the importance of resisting those urges until they find “the right one” to share that terribly intimate experience with. Until then, the option of this tween-condom, in my opinion, is the logical step forward in understanding our kids.

C March 5, 2010, 12:17 PM

Better to have small condoms than to have teens (and “small” men) using ones that fall off.

Black Iris March 5, 2010, 2:41 PM

Junior-sized condoms? Condoms for kids? What real teenager is going to buy them?

If the kids aren’t using condoms now, making smaller condoms isn’t going to help.

Seriously, I think we need to tell kids to abstain, but use condoms if they don’t. That doesn’t mean we should actually market condoms to them. It’s hard to portray waiting as normal if you’re advertising condoms for teens. They get enough pressure to have sex from their peers, let’s not add to it.

am y March 6, 2010, 3:43 AM

Why is a woman reporting this in such a sexist fashion.

If he is old enough to have sex “no woman” has anything to say about it.

Anonymous March 6, 2010, 4:20 AM

I still insist it is bad parenting. Children learn very early what’s right and what is wrong. A child having sex at 12?? If educated properly, the child will know how to handle situations if ever one does arise in the school or outside of the school. Many parents are too relaxed and let kids nowadays go to unsupervised parties or let their kids date at 12. What are we teaching them? Nothing useful in that area. We must educate them more and talk more. There is no excuse for children having sex at 12 or younger!!! We can’t just say: “Oh, it’s peer pressure. Sorry”. So it’s okay if they do drugs, drink, or cut school??? No consequences for that either? Parents can do a LOT and should do a LOT by taking care of their children.

Pam March 6, 2010, 3:58 PM

You do realize that it only takes once to contract an STD or get a girl pregnant? So Johnny who has been raised well all of a sudden one day gives into the peer pressure and cuts school for the first time is with a girl, they have sex. Would you rather he wore the rain coat or just took the out of the blue chance on it? Sure you can punish Johnny all you like the damage is likely done.

Advertise abstaining but let’s be realistic and offer the alternative to keep safe. Teens have their own minds and sometimes all the talking in the world won’t prevent them from having sex.

Anonymous March 23, 2010, 2:12 AM

I agree with Becky. It’s not bad parenting, it’s the natural impulses. What everyone fails to see is that sex is a natural thing, it’s not evil or bad. Yes, it would be much more fitting to wait til they’re older to have sex but every individual person will make their own decisions.

Anonymous April 4, 2010, 6:18 AM

Shocking yes, but a good idea. Because it happens. However, I can’t imagine too many 12 year olds have the courage to walk in and buy them. Especially small ones :P

Marianne Johnson April 25, 2010, 7:49 PM

I think it’s a good idea….most parents don’t want to think that their kid would actually be involved with anyone sexually. They’re fooling themselves and leaving their kids open to getting diseases and possibly becoming a parent. Who wants that for a kid? Parents need to step up and teach their kids at a younger age about all that. Kids learn so much more on tv and are exposed to things via internet and friends that parents need to preach a little sooner than they used to. Innocence is not long lived in American kids anymore.

Anonymous August 8, 2010, 12:52 AM

lets sex

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