Use It: Pretty Protection

The National Center for Healthcare Statistics reported this month that births among 15-19-year-olds are on the rise for the first time in 14 years.* Lame. As 19-year-old RED author Cindy Morand wrote in her standout essay--“Since When Is Teen Pregnancy Cool?”--on The Huffington Post, “We've initiated a dangerous new member of the breakfast club: the no-problem pregnant teenager.” Is it the US Weekly effect of having celebrities and their babies smiling from glossy covers? Is it Jamie Lynn Spears? Juno? Bristol Palin? Nah, it wasn’t Bristol (though the largest increase, 19%, was in her home state of Alaska), and we’re not fans of blaming pop culture either.

The weird thing is that the number of teenagers having sex has actually gone down in this same time period. According to The New York Times, the increase in teen pregnancies has a lot to do with the fact that people are getting lax on protection.

That is so not cool. Especially when there are amazing companies working on pretty condom packages, like the ones above from One Condoms. Enter the 2009 design competition and you could soon be the Warhol of wrapping it; rate the current entries here.

We’re not judging, just saying be smart. Now get to work on those condom art sketches.

*While this could mean that more teen girls are carrying pregnancies to full term or that teen pregnancy rates are up, it's a number that we don't want to rise.