New York sex ed vids get real with teens about unsafe sex
A new series of web videos produced "by teens for teens" aims to educate young people about the dangers of unsafe sex. They have been getting a lot of attention, particularly because they take a down-to-earth approach that some may find in poor taste, but in the end could be more clear and effective for teenagers.
The videos are produced by Community Healthcare Network's Teens P.A.C.T. program which is based in New York City. The PSAs are collectively titled MORE THAN JUST SEX! Each video features a number of diverse teens discussing safer sex and sexual health information in various formats, including parody.
One video, titled The Importance of Condoms!, features a young man talking candidly with the camera about his choice to stop using condoms. He touts the benefits of unsafe sex, which may seem counteractive to the goals of sex education. However, after he's done speaking, a voice over lists the "side effects" of unprotected sex. The list is long, but some of the symptoms include dark urine, genital warts, HIV, baby mama drama and deep, lasting regret.
Another video, titled Face Your Fears, shows a group of teenagers struggling with everyday fears, such as public speaking, shooting hoops in front of friends or asking a girl to prom. Toward the end of the video, a young woman is seen standing outside of an STD testing clinic, looking nervous, then stepping inside. The words "Some fears are worth facing," flash on the screen.
Sexually active teens may have trouble accessing contraceptive services. According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, only 21 states and Washington, D.C., allow all minors to consent to contraceptive services.