Edgy Sex Ed Videos for Teens Spark Debate

Nadine Kaslow, professor and chief psychologist at the Emory School of Medicine and Grady Hospital in Atlanta, had a similar concern.

"I think it's too simplistic for young adults. It's sort of like sex 101," said Kaslow. "It was the kind of the stuff I got in junior high."

"That's definitely not the case," said Delapoer, who said focus groups responded positively to the design and the humor of using the stereotypically awkward male teacher role. "Everything from the script to the site to the colors, everything was designed in mind to reach an audience in their teens and early 20s."

Despite the dispute over the intended audience, though, Kaslow recognized the power of putting sex education videos online.

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"People learn in different ways, and maybe they're embarrassed to ask questions in class," Kaslow said. "Or they had the STD lecture in September and then in March they have questions and are wondering if they're infected but forgot what they learned."

Planned Parenthood and Sex Education

"My general thought is certainly in this day and age, sex education is a good thing, and some kids aren't even getting it at schools."

By "this day and age," Kaslow was referring to the undeniably sad statistics of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States.

In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that likely one in four teenage girls have a sexually transmitted infection and that neither abstinence-only (25 percent of classrooms) nor comprehensive sex education (66 percent of classrooms) has been effective in reducing these numbers.

Where's the Problem

"We have a sort of preventable health crises in this country," said Delapoer, who added that the focus groups and research used to develop the Take Care Down There site also found current sex education to be ineffective in some areas.

"They're often not confused but turned off by a lot of the medical technical terms," said Delapoer. Others in social health education agreed.

"I think that so much of what we do has a medical bent and it doesn't really address the way people really talk about this topic," said Deborah Arrindell, vice president for health policy at the American Social Health Association.

"It's very fresh, it's exciting and it's a new way of trying to reach young people," she said. "It's not for everybody, but they can click off and find this information in ways that work better for them."

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