SexEd Abstracts Due For SexTech Summit: Not Your Mother’s Media

isis 2010Nov. 8, 2009 One of our ‘top ten’ posts continues to be the Top Ten Teen SexEd videos created by students, for students in an effort to improve the lousy coverage of an inevitably touchy subject in schools. If you’re unfamiliar with (Internet Sexuality Information Services) they’re an amazing health advocacy crew that epitomizes the concept of Shaping Youth’s tagline, “Using the power of media for positive change.”

ISIS  hosted the “Fresh Focus” video contest “Why is sex so interesting and sex ed so boring” which was a massive hit, and my first foray into their youth advocacy work. I still send kids AND adults to DoGooderTV as a stellar ‘how to’ for the use of UGC in the hands of creative, talented teens. Students are brimming with solutions for using innovation for education, and SexTech is the perfect blend of adults that ‘get it’ and kids that desperately want them to.

It’s so inspiring to see how youth teams spread their own message to peers in viral form to avoid spreading…um, ‘viral forms’ of a different kind.  Academics and health advocates? Here’s your much needed nudge to get the lead out and hurry to turn in your abstracts if you’d like to join the dais for Sextech Feb. 26/27, 2010.

sextech stdSend your best preso pitches to Isis NOW for what’s shaping up to me yet another info packed summit on getting accurate sex-ed info into the hands of teens in Health2.0 techno-comm style.

I’m not sure how much wiggle room there is, but contact them directly if you’re running late and need a smidge more time, as I know I’M late just getting this posted…and I really believe in this cause.

I’ll be helping distribute ‘save the date’ info for Feb. 26/27 2010 when I’ll be talking about media misinformation at my own daughter’s high school on a sexuality panel Dec. 3 with local chapters of TeenTalk and Pflag to find out what’s ‘top of mind’ with parents and students.

Yes, I plan to address the ‘teen mama mania’ in the ratings games and get SexTech life skills into the hands of parents AND kids for accurate info…(maybe I’ll finally finish that ‘Secret Life’  point/counterpoint and do an analysis of  Glee, MTV’s 16 & Pregnant, the recent Teen Vogue cover brouhaha and more… Your thoughts?)

nimhlogoweb.jpgWanna sponsor?

NIMH is already onboard to kick things off, so add your support to the mix…

Their division of AIDS/health & behavior research sponsored last round, as did STD Prevention Online…and multiple public health czars…here’s a video clip from their blog from last year.

As I’ve said before, in an era of mass media sexual cues and YouTube & MTV “show-n-tell,” this summit is really a moral  imperative.

We need to 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.

Without doing so, it’s like voting in “No Child Left Behind” laws and then not funding schools and implementation. You can’t have kids being surrounded by overt media messages of sex 24/7 and then close eyes/ears/minds by advocating for an ”abstinence only’ training mantra.

Statistics have proved that time and time again. It. Doesn’t. Work.

In an internet age where kids surf for facts far beyond whatever ‘filter’ parents may use to funnel findings and give the illusion of media ‘control,’ I heartily welcome the overhaul and dire need for sex education in the digital language of youth.

But then that begs the question, ‘at home or at school or both?’

advocates-for-youth.gifIs Web 2.0 a conduit for change so that parents can use it as a springboard to open up dialog?

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?

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.

Sex ed and “Sex::Tech” is a much needed, long overdue “Fresh Focus” indeed…given our “media as peer” cultural environs…

It’s one of my favorite conferences, teeming with thought leaders  and Health2.0 pros like Andre Blackman of Pulse + Signal in a collaborative effort to work toward the common good for public health and humanity as a whole. Here’s the full call for abstracts, so get your brainpower fired up and creative thinking caps on:

sextech-logo.jpgISIS is ready to knock your Sex::Tech socks off with two full days of mind-expanding goodness that will help strengthen your projects, while increasing their reach and impact!

(Amy’s note: Is their “double colon” logo  to keep search engines from blocking/jamming in spam filters spelling out s-e-x?)

Your abstracts are essential components required to take Sex::Tech to the next level.  This year’s program wouldn’t be complete without presentations that focus on:

  • Youth-led advocacy
  • Inter-organizational partnerships
  • Skill-building workshops
  • Mobile technology applications
  • Policy and advocacy for sexual rights
  • Sex education: information delivery in schools
  • Prevention and interventions that utilize new media

If your abstract is accepted, you will delight a diverse Sex::Tech audience of clinicians, sex education advocates, teachers, public health professionals, students, bloggers, marketers, game and app developers, researchers, along with social network and new media experts!

For more information on Sex::Tech please visit

Direct program-related questions to Andy at Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact Deb at and please include “Sex::Tech Sponsorship” in the subject line.

Who knows? I may even submit something myself, in re-reading these conference goals…Seems a public forum on media producers and the powerful potential to embed ACCURATE content in plotlines versus irresponsible ratings bait and dramarama might be in order…hmn. I’d love to tackle that one. (yah, in my spare time…ahem) Here’s how to submit online…

Conference Goals: Does Your Abstract Fit?

1.)  Explore research, policy, education, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs that use new technologies to enhance the sexual health of young people

2.) Increase knowledge and awareness of successful, cost-effective, public and private technology-based STD and/or HIV prevention programs and projects

3.) Share effective, and cost-effective, technology-based strategies for eliminating STD, HIV and sexual health-related health disparities among youth

4.) Provide opportunities for skill-building, tech teach-ins, and networking among those dedicated to the sexual health of young people

I keep thinking about how Grey’s Anatomy and teamed to test media as a public health distribution channel for HIV/AIDS info to considerable success.

Hmn and hmmmmmnnnnn again. Stay tuned…and be sure to save the date: Feb. 26-27, 2010 for Sex::Tech!

Related Posts on Shaping Youth

Kids Prime Time TV Health Cues Ingested (For Better or For Worse)

Influencers, Accountability & the Global Cost to Youth

Text Monster: Teen Tips On Digital Dating Obsessions

Top 10 Teen Sex Ed/Safety Videos (By Kids, For Kids)

I’m Not a Prude, But…

Interview w/Amy Jussel on The Girl Revolution ( sex ed/media)

Interview w/Amy Jussel on The Girl Revolution ( sex ed/media Part TWO)


Related Resources for Youth

(Amy’s note: The Beyond the Birds & the Bees visual above is from a medically moderated “by teens for teens” site called Sex Etc. which is excellent; I still have my ISIS-INC full conference post re: media influence of ‘Secret Life’ etc. so for now here’s a mini-link list of ‘recommends’ to peruse!)

More Resources

Managing the Media Monster (Influence of Media)

The Kinsey Institute: FAQs on Teen Sexual Activity

CDC-YRBS National Trends in Risk Behaviors

CDC: 1991-2007 Trends in the Prevalence of Sexual Behaviors

TV/Internet: Advocates for Youth Factsheet-Sexual Health Info The Media

Project: Enterainment Industry Resources on Sexual Health

Amplify Your Voice (Youth-Driven/Sexual Health Activism)

Abstinence Only SexEd Statistics: Final Nail in the Coffin SxTechConference 2010

SxTech  (Internet Sexuality Information Services)

ISIS-Inc/Blog: Technically it’s about Sex (Data blog)



  1. Hi Amy,

    I just thought I’d mention that MNet has recently added to our lesson library a lesson for Grades 7-9, titled “I heard it ’round the Internet: Sexual health education and authenticating online information,” that teaches kids how to find and authenticate sexual health information online. ( It also comes with a backgrounder for teachers and parents titled “Online Sex Education Resources: Challenges and Opportunities.” (

  2. Hi Matthew, this is fabulous!!

    Readers: the media literacy questions at are perfect for using AT HOME with kids AS WELL as in classroom/edu environs…They’ve put together excellent dialog jumpstarts n and coverage on sifting and sorting credibility, with handouts and how-tos galore…

    Here’s a mini sample, so visit the links!

    “Overview: Students will consider the use of the Internet as a research tool and learn how to use search engines more effectively. They then apply these newfound skills to investigating popular myths about sexuality and contraception. Finally, they consider three Web sites they have used in the course of their research and evaluate them as sources of information.

    Learning Outcomes

    Students will:

    * reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the Internet as a research tool
    * learn and practice Internet search and evaluation skills
    * become familiar with reliable online sources on sexual health
    * research information on sexual health
    * evaluate online sources of information on sexual health

    Preparation and Materials

    Read the backgrounder Online Sex Education Resources: Challenges and Opportunities.

    Photocopy the following handouts:

    * Handout #1: Internet Search Skills
    * Handout #2: Reliable Sources
    * Handout #3: True or False? Myths and Facts about Teens and Sex
    * Handout #4: Web Site Evaluation Form

    If you do not have access to Internet-connected computers in the classroom, arrange access to a computer lab (this is only essential for the activity “How Much Does the Internet Know?”).

    Again the link for these resources is above, and Twitter users can use this shortened version here:

    Matthew, there’s a reason I love the Media Awareness site so much! 🙂 thanks for this valuable lesson plan! Appreciatively, Amy
    .-= Amy Jussel´s last blog ..Gossip Girl November Sweeps Schtick Predictably Trashy =-.

  3. I love this post! Thank you for sharing this very informative post.
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