IDENTIGENE is proud to be a sponsor of the Sex::Tech conference on New Media, Youth, and Sexual Health. As part of the ramp up to this exciting event (April 1-2, 2011 in San Francisco) we where invited to take part in the Sex::Tech blog carnival.
The Ask: Join Sex::Tech in investigating the search for sex information online.
We were curious about how teens felt about the search for information online, and invited youth blogger, Kayla, a 19 year old college freshman to write our post for us. Here is what she had to say:
The internet. The greatest, largest, information highway in the modern world. Quick answers to any question imaginable. My question; is it really THAT easy to find the information that you need right away?
I personally have been learning to use the internet to solve difficult questions since elementary school. I’ve learned how to phrase my questions well to receive the correct answer. However, is the average teen able to do so? If a teenage girl needs information on a sensitive subject like sexual health, can she find it on the internet? Could she find quality answers to questions about STDs, birth control, or just on sex in general? I believe she could.
Now, does that mean that the internet is the best place for her to learn about such important things as sex? Maybe or maybe not. She could talk to her parents, but how often does that really work out? How about friends? It would depend on the type of friends she has. If we take into consideration that she IS going to turn to the internet for answers, it could be the best place for her to get them.
Is quality sexual health information easy to access though? That’s a difficult question. How easy is it to get “good” information about STDs or birth control? I tried this myself, to see what type of info a girl might get when trying to tackle these tough questions. I went to a few of the major search engines and try to find information about oral sex.
On Google the first eight links were tips on giving oral sex, and news stories about politics and oral. Only the three last links were about the health concerns of oral sex. Not off to a great start.
Next I tried to be a little more specific, to see if that might help. I searched for “oral sex facts” on Ask.com and the turnout was a little better. I had a few more health links, but I also got lots of religious links questioning if oral counted as sex.
Continuing on to Bing.com I searched for “oral sex concerns”, trying to get down to the real answers someone might need. At this point I got the goods. Every link was to safe sex, information on STDs , and how to protect oneself, and on the importance of the decision to have sex.
Through this search I’ve found that it might be difficult for people to find the information that they need on the internet if they don’t know where or how to look, or what exactly they’re looking for. I do believe however, that a teen could find quality information on safe sex, on any mainstream search engine, if they really wanted to. All I had to do was type in “oral sex concerns” and I found it.
I would however make it easier for teens to find sexual health information by making those sites more readily available and by targeting teens that might not be specifically looking for STD information. Show teens that the information is there when, and if, they need it, a safety net, that can catch them before they fall.
Written for the Sex::Tech 2011 Blog Carnival. Sex::Tech, the leading conference on youth, sexuality, and technology, is April 1-2, 2011 in San Francisco.