Public Health

Teens Seek Sex Ed Online.

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Deb Levine, Chief Executive of ISIS, writes on her blog about the findings of a survey looking at how adolescents learn about various topics including sex education.  Not surprisingly sex education comes out top as being learnt ‘on-line’.

 

Deb Levine, Chief Executive of ISIS, writes on her blog about the findings of a survey looking at how adolescents learn about various topics including sex education.  Not surprisingly sex education comes out top as being learnt ‘on-line’.

Last year I carried out 7 focus groups at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, discussing where adolescents learnt about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), their current knowledge of STDs and how/if they thought that using technology to encourage teens to get tested for STDs would work.
Overwhelmingly they agreed that they mostly learnt about STDs on-line. Frighteningly they did this by simply ‘googling’ symptoms and clicking on the subsequent links. Fortunately several of the focus group participants (of which there were a total of 31), had ‘trusted’ sites which they used to seek information such as ‘webMD’ or ‘CDC.gov’, but many of them clicked randomly through to see how many gave the same advice and then simply went with that.
If adolescents are now relying so heavily on the internet for their own health education it is vital that we create reliable, trustworthy and developmentally appropriate websites for them to access. Establishing that teens are seeking out information is the first big step (which is encouraging), now it’s up to us, as educators, to deliver the goods.

Read more from Deb Levine: http://huff.to/mDHC1m

 

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