But how and where to begin has halted many well intentioned campaigns that seek to promote teen health. Many research studies have found that the majority of sex education for teens do not come from parents or other qualified sources. It generally comes from peers and media.
This is a huge risk in the age of HIV and AIDS. More danger in the form of unwanted pregnancies and abortions lurk around.
If prevention has to be the first step towards a cure, imparting quality sex education should be on top of the agenda. Parents may hesitate because of shyness. Educators can be hamstrung by rules. The way towards precise and accurate facts is present in the rich informational resources found on the web.
These online informational sex education resources are not meant to replace consultation with health care professionals. But they can help to set facts and doubts straight about the birds and the bees.
Scarleteen is one of the most prevailing young adult sex education sites around. It is also one of the broader sites on the topic from introductory articles to interactive discussions. You can use the search to get around to the topic of interest or the whole page of tags.
Being a decade old site, the site has covered a lot of sex educational Q&A’s. For a peculiar problem, the message boards are a great help. For even quicker solutions, you can even text Scarleteen if you are located in the United States. A database on finding quality healthcare on sexual problems is in the works.
The Sex Etc website is the online avatar of their national magazine. The site has 16 topic areas covering information on sex and relationships, pregnancy, STDs, birth control, sexual orientation, and more. The sex education website has the tagline – sex education by teens, for teens. The site has a videos section. Though the collection is small, they address the main problem areas. A unique feature is the Comix & Quizzes section which combines sex education with engaging graphics.
The Planned Parenthood website is just the online face of a leading US community healthcare provider. With 88 unique, locally governed affiliates and more than 840 health centers in the Unites States; they have the means to educate on reproductive and sexual health. Their Teen Talk section is where teen related sexual health issues find a place.
On the landing page, you get a link that goes to Tools for Parents and another that leads to Tools for Educators. Videos, animations, and an Ask the Expert section round off an extremely well designed site. Social Networking buffs can also connect with Planned Parenthood groups on Facebook and MySpace.
LikeItIs leans towards Australia and the United Kingdom. It is a part of Marie Stopes International, the international NGO that works on sexual and reproductive Health worldwide. LikeItIs covers topics like teenage pregnancy, help and advice, periods, STD, sex, peer pressure, sexuality, contraception, and puberty. The site is interactive with a quiz section that tests your sexual I.Q. Locker Room is where you find out common misconceptions and rants that go on with teenagers. The Peer Pressure page is a must read because that’s what teenagers face the most.
It’s Your Sex Life is the official website of MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Emmy Award winning It’s Your (Sex) Life public information campaign. MTV is an online destination for many youth. The channel seeks to combine that with information on teen related sex and relationship FAQs.
The content is straight to the point. For instance, you have a What Works/What Doesn’t chart to prevent unwanted pregnancies and STDs. The Get Yourself Talking section gets more interactive with videos, discussions and interactive participation. The site also has an easy-to-use testing center locator, for searching out the nearest STD testing center to your location.
Go Ask Alice is a Q&A website from the Health Services at Columbia University. The archives are a storehouse of nearly 3000 previously asked questions on health issues. The Q&A forum covers issues on relationships, sexuality, sexual health, emotional health, fitness, nutrition, alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs, and general health.
You can ask questions and get answers from anywhere in the world, and anonymously. The solutions come from qualified sex education professionals in public health, health education, medicine, and counseling.
TeenSource was setup as an online resource for teen related issues by the California Family Health Council. The site caters to the age group of 13-24. Though with a focus on California, the site can be referenced by anyone. Some of its features like the text messaging service (Hookup), privacy and reproductive health care rights info, clinic finder, and special contests are relevant for Californian youths only. TeenSource also runs a video channel on YouTube.
The website covers general health issues with a specific focus on young girls. From guides on nutrition to those on sexuality and emotional health, the site is full of carefully researched information. Check out the quizzes section. The website is a collaboration between the Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine and the Division of Gynecology at Children’s Hospital Boston.
Advocates for Youth is a web resource where you won’t get straight-up answers on sex education. The organization gives direction to issues like HIV, sexuality education, emergency contraception, teenage pregnancy prevention and more, through its programs and policies.
The site seeks to encourage youth participation and awareness on the above mentioned issues. It’s an important place to see if society is showing any change towards topics which are often thought of as controversial.
The 44-year-old organization in its own words promotes comprehensive education about sexuality, and advocates the right of individuals to make responsible sexual choices. The non-governmental organization has a broad scope from training educators to empowering individuals. Online, the NGO provides websites like the SexEdLibrary. The online library is a good web resource for lessons and class plans on sexuality education for educators.
These ten online resources are the pick of the ones from the many you will find with a search. Do you have any other website to add to the list that furthers quality sex education among teens and young adults?
Image credit: AJC1