With all the explicit content on internet, magazines, advertisements, it really became important to educate young people to have safe sex. Going over the facts, U.S. have one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and these teen mothers are less likely to attend any high school or college in the future which leads them in a miserable life.
Apart from that, the other big problem is STDs/HIV. 18-24 year olds account for half of the 20 million new STD cases annually. To control that some organizations are trying to take the help of social media to educate the young people as much as they can because roughly 94% of teens are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social network.
But the social media companies are totally opposing the cause as they are implying that these types of tweets, posts, articles, or any other things related to sexuality are violating their policies even if they are for sexual health and awareness.
As reported by “The Atlantic”, Bedsider, a support network for birth control, was blocked after some tweets about sexual health – one of which was “98% of women have used birth control. Not one of them? Maybe it’s time to upgrade your sex life”. Now what social networking sites are saying is that “Safer sex education, HIV/STD awareness campaigns, and non-prescription contraceptives” can be promoted but only with the provision they “do not contain sexual content and do not link to sexual content”.
How is it possible, to have messages about safer sex without them being sexual content? And even if it is, young people will not take interest in the stuff because they do not want to read some dorky article about sexual awareness like doctors or high school books depicts, so it have to be funnier, interesting and sexy, in a way. And if this really violated the policies of social media platforms then why Kim Kardashian’s bare butt all over the internet is fine and telling how to use a condom is not?
Sexual health has to be sold like everything else. Susan Gilbert, co-director of The National Coalition for Sexual Health, says “We have to make healthy behaviors desirable by using creative, humorous and positive appeals. We do not use negative, fear-based messaging to promote products, and we can’t use it to promote behaviors”.
The thing is that everyone is so much indulged into social media that most of the information is gained from there only and when that is being used for business and all, why can’t we use it for sex education? These organizations only want to get in there to offer some healthy sexual messages alongside everything else. What is wrong in that? Technology is to help us and this is where young people can get some help.
This is just double standard as there is sexual content everywhere and when it comes to sex education it’s all wrong. Over the past few years, many sexual-health organizations tried to pursue tech platforms but were mostly unsuccessful. Social networking companies are just afraid to lose its users by offending some of them with stuff like this.
Amber Madison, a therapist and sexual-health writer and educator, is coordinating a petition backed by several national organizations for executives at “Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, YouTube, and any other interested platforms” to meet sexual educators and the goal is to come with a way to bring some information for sexual health awareness to these platforms and work to amend their policies.
It is really necessary to have the corporation of the social networking sites as they can surely spread some effective information among everyone and this will definitely create awareness among us.