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Prevention/Epidemiology
Planned Parenthood Launches Mobile Interactive Tools to Help Teens Make Healthy Decisions

October 31, 2013

This article was reported by eNews Park Forest.

eNews Park Forest recently reported that Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) launched nine interactive, shareable mobile tools to provide sex education for young people. The interactive tools present age-appropriate information that young people could access via their mobile devices. The program aims to reinforce school- and home-based sex education and assist teens in discussing dating and sex with their parents.

PPFA created one set of tools for younger teens, one set for older teens, and one tool that all teens could use. The universal tool, "Awkward or Not?," encourages teens to discuss dating and sex with their parents and provides conversation starters.

Tools for younger teens advocate deferring the age of their first sexual experience, teach skills for avoiding risky situations, and emphasize future goals. Separate tools for girls ("What's Your Love Personality?") and boys ("Where Do You Stand?") address the commitments to delay sex. "The Kickback" teaches teens how to respond to peer pressure to drink, use drugs, or have sex. "What's Your Plan?" encourages teens to identify long-term goals for education, career, and family; and to develop short-term goals.

The toolkit geared toward older teens contains a similar tool, "Fast Forward." Other tools aimed at older teens include "My Birth Control," to assist girls in selecting the best birth control method for them; and "Been There. Done That.," a tool that encourages "dual use" -- using both birth control and condoms -- during sex to prevent STDs and pregnancy. "It Takes Two" also emphasizes dual use.

Parents and educators could use the tools as a resource. A national advisory board that included experts in adolescent development, effective health interventions, public health, and online games and digital entertainment assisted in developing the tools. PPFA designed the tools to be appealing and inclusive of all racial and ethnic groups and tested the tools rigorously online before release.

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