Sext education direct to your phone

Share this content:
Allison Schiff, web editor, Direct Marketing News
Allison Schiff, web editor, Direct Marketing News

Though no one actually used the phrase “the birds and the bees,” the few bits I remember from the sex education classes I was subjected to in grade school roughly 15 years ago are hazy and fogged by euphemism. Let's just say that after the sessions were over, I still had a lot of questions.

But today, the power of mobile and the ubiquity of the Internet are being harnessed by a variety of health organizations to give kids the skinny on sex, according to The New York Times.

In Colorado, the ICYC (In Case You're Curious) phone chat service run by Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains allows students to text in their sex health questions and promises a response within 24 hours. California teens can text their ZIP codes to the Hookup to get listings for health clinic locations, free weekly sex info and what it calls “life advice.” Chicagoan teenagers who sign up for Sex-Ed Loop get weekly texts about safe sex and disease prevention. In New York, there's Real Talk, a tech-driven H.I.V. prevention program targeting high-risk youth in Albany, Schenectady and Troy.

Some people aren't so pleased with the programs, though. Keith Mason, president of anti-abortion group Personhood USA told The Denver Post that “In Case You're Curious” is “just another extension of [Planned Parenthood's] abortion-marketing plan … Just like restaurants use texts to give out coupons, this is their way of driving young people to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in America.”

The tone of the text messaging is designed to appeal to teens. This isn't your gym teacher droning on about fallopian tubes and handing out packets of Clearasil.

The Hookup, for example, recently sent out this tip: "Different=NORMAL when it comes 2 bodies. Every1 is unique & that includes genitals!"

That's pretty direct. It's also a cost-effective way to handle a touchy subject.

Sure, some parents would rather their kids come and talk to them about sex, but that doesn't mean it's not a good idea to have other venues open to teens with questions. [In the words of one Denver teen interviewed by the Times: “It's too gross to ask my parents.”]

DMNotes is DMN's around-the-clock blog. Yes, a blog in 2016.

Bookmark this section and follow our RSS Feed here

close

Next Article in Mobile Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above