THE FACTS OF LIFE
Educational apps provide next-gen sex ed
Sex ed is generally stereotyped as a boring or downright embarrassing class that leaves students with more questions than answers, especially if it takes place in a state that emphasizes abstinence-only education. But now, the following apps allow youth, as well as curious adults, to learn about modern sexual wellness in a conversational and engaging way.
Chat-based smartphone app Tia was launched to combat the hardships of navigating a healthcare system wherein the unique health challenges women face are too often written off or unaddressed. The female-focused and conversational interface in the app features a bot—named Tia—that acts as a personal and private health advisor and responds to users’ personal questions about their sexual health. Tia is trained to respond to questions with a blend of sweetness, sass, and science, while it creates a database of each user’s health in doing so, encouraging the user to consider Tia as a BFF—one with an MD.
Real Talk, an app where teens age 13 and up can learn about topics related to sex education in a confessional and social-style format, was developed specifically to combat issues—such as teenage pregnancy—that arise from a lack of open dialogue or education due to their sensitivity. The mobile app is a smart solution to a large-scale problem, as this demographic is digitally-native and mobile-first, and it lets teens learn in a format that is tailored directly to them. When they use the app they can select topics such as STIs or acne and read confessional and highly-relatable text-style stories that shed new light on the respective areas of interest.
Juicebox, a sex ed app that empowers users to build healthy relationships as well as a better sex life, prioritizes the very real and even dire concerns of teens who lack access to helpful or non-abstinence-only sexual education. When using the app, users can choose to “Snoop” or “Spill,” allowing them to either ask questions about sexual health or navigate a board of personal stories about sex and relationships, respectively. As sexuality is rebranded for Gen Zs as they come of age, this simple yet engaging format is conducive to the conversational and mobile-first approach that truly connects with this cohort.