Sex ed in the real world. Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World -- Fun, Fresh and Non-Judgemental.



Sex ed in the real world

Sex ed in the real world

So they joined Teach for America, the program that places talented graduates in low-income schools around the country. They found themselves placed in adjacent classrooms in a high school in rural Eastern North Carolina. Here, Jagannathan and Chen both had the experience of seeing students struggle with unplanned pregnancies at as young as 15 or Could something be done about it?

And even when the teachers in the area did have resources, they often felt ill at ease discussing certain aspects of sex and sexuality openly. So Chen and Jagannathan—and later a third woman, Cristina Leos—decided to create a resource that could speak directly to students. While the app was originally intended for high schoolers, the women realized that many of the teens they were talking to began having sex before 9th grade.

So they decided to target the app to middle schoolers instead. To design Real Talk, they spoke with more than students in North Carolina, Texas, Connecticut and elsewhere, conducting long interviews, doing group sessions, and soliciting real life stories about the kind of things most people, teens and adults alike, feel awkward talking about. Not surprisingly, they found that, even in schools with comprehensive sex ed, students still had questions.

They also wanted that story to be written in an authentic way, which meant plenty of slang and emojis. Teenagers, for instance, often use fruit and vegetable symbols to represent genitalia, a fact perhaps not known to most adults. But stories are easier to recall. The story will link to factual information from reliable sources, so teens can learn more.

The team says many of the students they interviewed were actually less interested in traditional sex ed topics like pregnancy and how to avoid STIs, and were more interested in puberty and hearing about other peoples' experiences with things like embarrassingly timed erections. The team plans to use Instagram as a key part of their marketing strategy for the app, which they hope to have in iTunes by early next year. The team also plans to offer Real Talk to sex ed teachers and other educators, who can share it with students.

While it's not the only sexual health app for teens on the market, its storytelling format gives it a unique edge. Ultimately they would like the app to have real-world effects such as reducing the teen pregnancy rate. Teen pregnancy rates have been declining for some 20 years —in , there were fewer than 25 births for every 1, females between 15 and 19, a decline of 9 percent from the previous year.

Interventions like Real Talk can help ensure that rate stays low, or perhaps drops even further, said the judges who awarded the team the government grant. But reducing teen pregnancy is not the only important thing.

Learning about sex and relationships can potentially teach a number of self-care and interpersonal skills too. She is the author of Homeward Bound:

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10 Things BOYS Didn't Learn In Sex Ed



Sex ed in the real world

So they joined Teach for America, the program that places talented graduates in low-income schools around the country. They found themselves placed in adjacent classrooms in a high school in rural Eastern North Carolina. Here, Jagannathan and Chen both had the experience of seeing students struggle with unplanned pregnancies at as young as 15 or Could something be done about it?

And even when the teachers in the area did have resources, they often felt ill at ease discussing certain aspects of sex and sexuality openly. So Chen and Jagannathan—and later a third woman, Cristina Leos—decided to create a resource that could speak directly to students. While the app was originally intended for high schoolers, the women realized that many of the teens they were talking to began having sex before 9th grade.

So they decided to target the app to middle schoolers instead. To design Real Talk, they spoke with more than students in North Carolina, Texas, Connecticut and elsewhere, conducting long interviews, doing group sessions, and soliciting real life stories about the kind of things most people, teens and adults alike, feel awkward talking about.

Not surprisingly, they found that, even in schools with comprehensive sex ed, students still had questions. They also wanted that story to be written in an authentic way, which meant plenty of slang and emojis. Teenagers, for instance, often use fruit and vegetable symbols to represent genitalia, a fact perhaps not known to most adults. But stories are easier to recall.

The story will link to factual information from reliable sources, so teens can learn more. The team says many of the students they interviewed were actually less interested in traditional sex ed topics like pregnancy and how to avoid STIs, and were more interested in puberty and hearing about other peoples' experiences with things like embarrassingly timed erections.

The team plans to use Instagram as a key part of their marketing strategy for the app, which they hope to have in iTunes by early next year. The team also plans to offer Real Talk to sex ed teachers and other educators, who can share it with students. While it's not the only sexual health app for teens on the market, its storytelling format gives it a unique edge.

Ultimately they would like the app to have real-world effects such as reducing the teen pregnancy rate. Teen pregnancy rates have been declining for some 20 years —in , there were fewer than 25 births for every 1, females between 15 and 19, a decline of 9 percent from the previous year.

Interventions like Real Talk can help ensure that rate stays low, or perhaps drops even further, said the judges who awarded the team the government grant. But reducing teen pregnancy is not the only important thing. Learning about sex and relationships can potentially teach a number of self-care and interpersonal skills too.

She is the author of Homeward Bound:

Sex ed in the real world

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4 Comments

  1. Ultimately they would like the app to have real-world effects such as reducing the teen pregnancy rate.

  2. Individuals who probably needed this kind of education, information and support themselves once and recognize the critical information and essential service Scarleteen offers. The sex ed provided by Scarleteen is ideally paired with compassionate communication from parents and guardians, as well as medically accurate sex ed and health information from school, community services and healthcare providers. There are signs that SRE is improving but progress is too slow and too patchy.

  3. In some primary schools the only SRE is one lesson about puberty taught in the summer term before moving to secondary school and sometimes that will be for the girls only. Sex education matters in secondary schools especially because this is a time when young people come under new pressures from their peers and are reaching for more independence and considering their own views on love, romance and what is acceptable or unacceptable for them.

  4. It is simply not okay that young people today should go without accurate and inclusive sexual health information: Continue Reading Below Which then explodes out of the woman's vagina as you make a dramatic escape. Over the years people have argued that sex education must be more than just the biology of puberty and reproduction, and must look at the real life context too — ie relationships.

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