Advocates for Youth sent me that blurb in a December call for video entries from young people aged 15-30. Two cute lil’ squiggly cartoon sperm were talking to each other, saying, “Whoohoo, money for making a sex ed video” and “Forget that egg, I’ve always wanted to be a star,” bringing a fresh focus to sex education.
Mind you, marketers used to bracket “18-24s;” seems the definition of “young people” is aging upward in a retro “never trust anyone over 30” nod…either way, boohoo, I’m a codger so I still don’t rate. BUT…I can VOTE and so can you, by Jan. 16.
Putting this in the hands of kids in UGC style is brilliant to get teens connecting peer to peer using media as the conduit for change. Here are the Top Ten Finalists on DoGooderTV! (winners are announced 1-22 at the first ever Web 2.0 SexTech::Focus on Youth conference, organized by ISIS, so hurry!)
I’ve reviewed all of the finalists and logged in my own vote (all are worthy efforts, and I don’t want to sway opinion, so will report after 1-16) but moreover, I’m eager to see how this media platform plays out on the educational media landscape, since they’re expecting over 300 health educators, academics, and technology experts in attendance.
I’ve been trying to send one of our Shaping Youth teen advisers to cover the event for us ($20 instead of the triple digit fee for adults; ageism with a purpose; they’ve scaled it to ensure it’s heavily weighted toward teen attendees).
Alas, like the Girls For A Change event, school precludes many parents from giving the go ahead to attend, despite heavy sponsorship by the NIMH, public health authorities and national coalitions that will no doubt flood the forum with vital information. (it’s not like teens are ditching class for Disneyland, ya know? sheesh)
Keynotes? Our knowledgeable friend Anastasia Goodstein from YPulse, Nikol from the Wisconsin ‘basement broadcast’ hit, MTSS that gleaned an audience of 60,000 and caught the eye of CBS Evening News w/Katie Couric last week (talk about a segue from digital to mainstream media exposure!)
I’m supposed to have one foot out the door to be at the state wellness summit for Champions for Change, and I’ve already dispatched coverage for the GreenTrepreneurs event at MIT/Stanford’s Vlab the same day…so you can see the dilemma of trying to be everywhere at once! (I’m working on “cloning myself via correspondents” so PLEASE ping me to apply if you have an interest!)
In an era of mass media sexual cues and YouTube & MTV “show-n-tell,” Sex::Tech could pop open an important teen dialog on how to improve and accurately convey the information kids need to become educated about and responsible for their own sexuality and life choices. (btw, think their “double colon” logo is to keep search engines from blocking/jamming in spam filters spelling out s-e-x? hmn…)
In an internet age where kids surf for facts far beyond whatever ‘filter’ parents may use to funnel findings and maintain media ‘control.’ Is sex education in dire need of a massive overhaul? (um, my vote is yes, big time)
But then that begs the question, ‘at home or at school or both?’
Or should educators across the board be skilled in handling SexEd in a more comprehensive way via institutional settings? Given our touchy social mores and separation of church and state, what’s plausible, and what’s realistic when it comes to implementation?
Media messaging envelops kids in surround sound without proper facts on the responsibility front, so how do we mitigate squeamish parents still using ‘metaphors’ to skirt around kids’ sexuality when media is bombarding kids with cultural cues sans education and context?
And…How do adults handle kids that ‘tune out’ and ‘get embarrassed’ when parents or care-providers attempt to communicate?
How young is too young to deconstruct media’s hypersexualized focus?
Is peer to peer media a way to initiate these conversations? And if so, what does that look like on the school vs. home landscape of life?
Here are a few Parents’ SexEd tips from Advocates for Youth.
Yep. This is a “Fresh Focus” indeed…
And long overdue, given our “media as peer” cultural environs…I’d love to hear what all ages have to say on this, so weigh in readers! Grammology? Tween team? Er…mom?