Technology has become a powerful medium through which sexual and reproductive health education is disseminated across the U.S. Hundreds of online and mobile programs conduct awareness, outreach, advocacy and parent-engagement activities. However, there is a growing concern about the quality and sustainability of these efforts, particularly for underserved youth populations and their parents. In March 2011, ISIS, Inc. published “TECHsex USA: Youth Sexuality and Reproductive Health in the Digital Age,” a white paper that provides an overview of the current youth sexual health and digital landscapes, specifically how youth of color use technology, communicate and discuss sexual and reproductive health.
Based on the study’s findings, the authors conclude that “messaging via multimedia digital channels and reinforced by in-person communication with trusted adults has the most potential to reach youth where they are – with messages to which they can relate.” The white paper reiterates the need and vast array of opportunities the fast-paced environment of digital platforms present practitioners.
- Youth want more programs that continue to spread the word in their communities, as well as greater access to health services, testing and condoms
- More accurate information online and via mobile devices
- Professional stakeholders are interested in collaborating with other professionals (researchers, funders, and interventionists) to share successes, failures, and opportunities