A Text Service That Connects Kids With Sexual Health Educators Is Effective For Teaching "At-Risk" Teens About Safe Sex, Says New Study

If you’re going to try to get through to teenagers, you need to do it on their level. What this means is teaching life lessons through Justin Bieber songs (that’s what teens listen to, right?), using all the cool lingo (like “SMH,” “LMFO,” I think), and, more importantly, taking advantage of the technology we have at our fingertips to communicate with them what they really need to know. A study out of the Washington State University has found that if we want to keep kids healthy and STD-free, then we need to get sex education to teens via text messages. Have you ever seen a teenager, or anyone, for that matter, ignore a text or the opportunity to send a text? Probably not.

More than anything, teenagers are really curious about sex. Whether they’ve done it or not, it’s on their brain all the time, because hormones! All those damn hormones! So the study examined 2,000 hormonally crazed kids in six different public school across Washington to see how they’d respond to a text service that connected them with sexual health educators, so they could get their sex-related inquiries answered without the fear of awkwardness. The study found that “at-risk,” kids, as in those most likely to have sex, were also the most likely to use the service. Which, as the researchers found out, is a total win-win, because these are the kids who need the information most.

Although out world is becoming more and more sex-positive and the dialogue about it is more open than ever, talking about sex, especially for teenagers, isn’t easy. Studies have revealed that Millennials get the shaft when it comes to proper sex education so making the knowledge easier to attain for those who might not be comfortable with going to a clinic or sitting down with their mom or dad is paramount.

The very first text message was sent on December 3, 1992. We have evolved in many ways in how we using the medium to contact (sexting!) each other, but it’s about time we finally start using it in a really beneficial way that educates. I mean, aside from all the texts I get from Bloomingdales about their sales.

Images: Garry Knight/Flickr; Giphy(2)