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Commentary: Sex ed app a good resource for awareness, information

September 29, 2013

fugate.38@osu.edu
MySexDoctor is an app created to be a resource for teens and young adults for questions related to health and sex.

MySexDoctor is an app created to be a resource for teens and young adults for questions related to health and sex. Credit: A screenshot from MySexDoctor app on iPhone.

Will labeling diagrams of the human body with 25 of your classmates become obsolete? Fabrizio Dolfi of London seeks to change those days with the new MySexDoctor app for smartphones. His aim is to not only educate today’s youth about sexuality and sexual health, but reach all of the taboo questions students shy away from asking in middle school health class.

With technology becoming more and more accessible, teens are often getting the “truth” about sex from friends, unreliable websites and pornography, Dolfi said. This was one of the driving factors behind the creation of MySexDoctor.

“We were afraid that people will find answers wherever they can, like going on the Internet and reading things that are not reliable. Or like many people, porn becomes your main source of knowledge, which is devastating because that’s not sex,” Dolfi said.

The app is highly comprehensive, containing a range of topics from puberty to pregnancy. Each section leads to a FAQ for the topic, with answers to commonly asked questions.

Currently, the app offers a “full” and “lite” version, with the full version priced at $1.99 and only accessible to those who agree they are 17 or older. The lite version is free and is available to anyone over the age of 12.

Although paying a price for this information may turn users away, creator Dolfi said the free and paid versions were created as a way to pay for the creation of the app and for spreading the word of its availability to a wider audience. He said he believes a small price would be the lesser of the evils, instead of polluting the app with advertisements or asking for sponsors from people looking to make cash.

The MySexDoctor team states on its website the company’s mission is “to become the main reference point for teenagers and young adults seeking information about puberty, relationships and sex,” and be “a trusted companion that young people can carry with them and access at all times.” This information and Dolfi’s position on advertisements and sponsors shows his dedication to educating the public and will hopefully dispel parents or educators wary of an app that seems to be all about sex.

Upon hearing about this app, I was slightly put off by the idea of having something on your phone, a very private item, accessible to kids as young as 12.

However, seeing more about what the app offers, I discovered that the questions are most definitely appropriate for children even as young as 12. When I was in fourth grade, we had a very basic “sex ed” day where we discussed puberty and addressed the “how are babies made?” question, so I do not think teaching someone two or three years older about safe sex and what to do if they are pregnant would be harmful.

Since the app aims to teach, not to influence the readers to try things out in their own lives, I think it could pose as a valuable resource for teens and adults alike and create a revolution of spreading true information, instead of learning about something as important as sex from pornography or friends.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about nine times as many teen mothers in America compared to any other developed country. Why? Possibly because teenagers are misinformed about contraception methods, safe sex and pregnancy resources.


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Category: Opinion

Comments (2)

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  1. Erika23 says:

    Wow, cool app! thank you for writing about it!

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