Quality Of Online Sexual Health Information

There is no denying it … The Internet can be a great source for finding all types of information relating to any topic. However, when it comes to young people and the thought of them accessing anything to do with sex, personal relationships and sexual health information we squirm at the different types of information they can access (see my publication). Why wouldn't we? They are looking for information because they don’t know something and for all we can try and safeguard young people we can’t always stop them from accessing sexual explicit material totally. However, we can move forward and provide them with the information they need and I suppose now we have to briefly ask the questions … WHY and WHAT are they searching for?

The WHY’S …

After recently conducting research with 12-16 year olds I found that young people are accessing pornographic websites due to the curiosity surrounding sex. One 12 year old girl said, “You don’t really learn anything about relationships and feelings, but it helps you try and suss out what all the hype is about sex – everyone is talking about it and I just want to be told more than what we get told at school.” The research also found that the main reason young people use websites is to try and get their questions answered based on what they are experiencing at the time and to seek help and advice. However, what is it that they are actually searching for?

The WHAT’S …

It is evident that young people are searching for information that adds to their knowledge and gives them the information they need based on their individual situation. The research found that young people want to use websites that are straight to the point and give the specific answers and advice to their questions and queries. They don’t want to be preached to and told what they should and shouldn't do, but instead to be treated with respect and given the correct information that satisfies their needs and give them the answers they are looking for. One young person from the research said “When do people ever ask us what information we need about sex? Adults don’t always give us the answers that we want, so we go and try to find it ourselves”.  Talk about what comes from the horse’s mouth!

Moving FORWARD …

From the research I have deciphered that more research needs to be conducted so we can listen to the wishes of you people, but in the meantime we need to possibly address three main issues that relate to young peoples needs. These being to address:

  1. The quality of online sexual health information;
  2. How young people access the Internet to have their sexual health questions answered, and;
  3. The ability for young people to sift through the colossal number of sources for accurate information.

We have tried everything to prevent young people from accessing dodgy sexual information online, but if we placed as much effort on listening to them and providing them with the information they need, pornographic material may not be the first port of call for them to learn about sex, relationships and sexual health information online.

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The Sexual Revolution that is Sweeping the World!

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has embraced the sexual revolution. If people aren’t experimenting more with sex then they are definitely talking about it! Even young people are finding the content fascinating, or is it just confusing them more when it comes to knowing about sex and sexual behaviour? Admittedly, the raving novel of Fifty Shades of Grey has taken sex, especially BDSM (Body-Discipline and Sadomasochism) to another level, but what messages do we want to send out to our children about sex.

On the one hand we want to keep them safe and protected, and then on the other hand we want them to have the information so they can be prepared for what is going to happen to them as they become young adults engaging in personal relationships and developing their own sexual identity. The big question is … what do parents need to know to ensure this happens?

The research shows that …

  • Providing good-quality sex education is paramount if young people are to avoid unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs);
  • The more knowledgeable young people are about sex and personal relationships then the initiation of sexual behaviour is delayed;
  • If young people know about the different forms of contraception then they are more likely to use it when sexual intercourse occurs (preventing unintended pregnancy and STIs);
  • If they know about the consequences associated with sex then they are more likely to be responsible over their sexual health.

With these facts in mind why do we deny our children the sexual information they need? Times have passed where we rely on the old-fashioned information to suggest that telling our children about sex is going to enflame their hormones so they rush out and have sex with multiple partners – They are not rabbits! Instead, they are human beings who should be shown more respect and trust than we possibly give them. Young people are growing-up quicker than ever before so we need to prepare them as much as possible for what is to come. Admittedly, they are young adults with limited knowledge and experience, but this is where it is our job as parents to fill the gaps and provide them with the information they need to keep them safe and avoid the negative consequences associated with sex. However, what information do they want?

Apart from the ’10 Things Your Kids Want to Know, But Daren’t Ask’ children and young people are saying that they want to be given the facts associated with sex – they don’t want any stone unturned. They don’t want to be left wondering what things mean, or what is going to happen to them physically as they go through puberty, developing and move towards the transition of becoming a fully-fledged adult. However, if we listen to their needs more questions need answering, such as … What should good-quality sex education entail? Possible answers … Do young people need to resort to the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ to learn about sex and relationships? Should we leave it to the education system to educate our children about SRE? Do we wait and let our children learn about sex through experimentation? The answer to these questions is NO on so many levels, which is why it is important that parents take control and steer the education of their children. Safe Cool Sex allows you to do this by giving the correct sexual information that you were possibly taught when you were younger, but have forgot. Furthermore, Safe Cool Sex gives support, advice and parents the skills to talk openly about sexual matters with their children. It also addresses sex and relationship education that is in-line with the 21st century. So, if you are one of those successful parents who want to get with the program – Join Dr Triece and let us dispel the myths about sex and ensure that our children get the correct sexual knowledge that does not resort to BDSM as in the Fifty Shades of Grey, pornographic material through the internet or through being given bad sex education at school that prevents our children from having the knowledge to make informed choices over their personal relationships and sexual behaviour.

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