Opinion: Barnes and Noble should restock condoms

Barnes+and+Noble+College+began+selling+condoms+at+the+store+in+the+beginning+of+the+semester.+After+student+backlash+they+removed+the+condoms+from+their+shelves.+Loyola%E2%80%99s+bookstore.+Photo+credit%3A+Alexis+Reyes
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Opinion: Barnes and Noble should restock condoms

Barnes and Noble College began selling condoms at the store in the beginning of the semester. After student backlash they removed the condoms from their shelves. Loyola’s bookstore. Photo credit: Alexis Reyes

Barnes and Noble College began selling condoms at the store in the beginning of the semester. After student backlash they removed the condoms from their shelves. Loyola’s bookstore. Photo credit: Alexis Reyes

Alexis Reyes

Barnes and Noble College began selling condoms at the store in the beginning of the semester. After student backlash they removed the condoms from their shelves. Loyola’s bookstore. Photo credit: Alexis Reyes

Alexis Reyes

Alexis Reyes

Barnes and Noble College began selling condoms at the store in the beginning of the semester. After student backlash they removed the condoms from their shelves. Loyola’s bookstore. Photo credit: Alexis Reyes

Nicole Schmidt

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I was delighted to hear that when Barnes and Noble took over Loyola’s campus bookstore, they started selling condoms to students — especially since our student health center is prohibited from distributing them. Condoms are a practical and common resource available at most universities, and it is unfortunate that Loyola is an exception. Catholic moral teaching prohibits artificial birth control, because sexual intercourse is supposed to only occur in the context of heterosexual marriage with the main goal to procreate. This doctrine is often cited as the reason why Loyola, a Catholic institution, has its hands tied on distributing condoms to their students. Pope Francis, a fellow Jesuit, and his predecessor Benedict XVI have implied some leniency in the use of condoms. They both were amidst major health epidemics, the Zika Virus and HIV/AIDS respectively, and generally stated that condom use is still immoral but a good first step in taking responsibility for one’s sexual actions. Both received heavy criticism from traditional sects of the Church for these comments. The Catholic Church still prohibits adherents and their sponsored institutions from endorsing and/or distributing contraception in any form.

Loyola taking condoms off the shelf of Barnes and Noble sends the message that the school favors dated doctrine over the wellbeing of their students. Several studies estimate that 77 percent of Americans have sexual intercourse before they turn 20 years old and 95 percent do so before marriage, according to cyclical data from the National Survey of Family Growth. It is dangerous and irresponsible to pretend that students are not engaging in sexual intercourse. Sex, especially premarital, is and always will be a basic aspect of life. Taking condoms off the shelves at the bookstore will not change this, but instead will encourage unsafe sex practices. It is already detrimental that our own student health center cannot freely distribute condoms, and taking them off the bookstore shelves just hits the nail on the head. Loyola’s Jesuit values which set it apart from traditional Catholic universities attracted me as a prospective student. Sex is a part of human nature, and cura personalis (caring for the whole individual person) should extend to caring for a students’ sexual health, even if it means challenging established doctrine.

 

 

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