If there's area of life in which teenagers excel, it's mobile technology. But they may not be as adept at navigating the thorny world of sex, which includes talking with parents, using contraceptives and making responsible decisions regarding sexual health.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is addressing this disconnect with nine new mobile apps -- check them out below -- that ask questions like, "What is your love personality?" and "Awkward or not?"
"Our messaging has always been the same," says Rebecca Engel, an educator for PPRM's Responsible Sex Education Institute. "No matter how they hear it from us, we want teens to talk to an adult they trust, to be able to say no if they don't want to partake in sexual activity, and to know where they can access birth control if it's something they've decided they need."
An image from the apps.
Of the nine apps, all of which are linked below, four are geared toward encouraging younger teens to delay sexual activity until a time when they feel sufficiently prepared and truly ready. They include:
1. What's Your Love Personality?: Helps younger teen girls discover what type of personality they are when it comes to love and sex.
2. Where Do You Stand?: Helps younger teen guys discover what type of personality they are when it comes to love and sex.
3. The Kickback: Helps younger teens handle pressure associated with drinking, using drugs and having sex.
4. What's Your Future Plan?: Helps younger teens set goals and plan for their futures.
Another four apps aim to help older teens make sound decisions regarding sexual health and safety:
5. Been There, Done That: A video series for older teens that features advice from peers about the lessons they've learned through firsthand experience.
6. My Birth Control: Helps older teen girls find out which method of contraception suits them best.
7. It Takes Two: Promotes a healthy, balanced relationship for teens who are currently dating a significant other.
8. Fast Forward: Helps older teens figure out what they want their lives to be like post-high school.
The last app is a quiz designed for teens of all ages:
9. Awkward or Not?: Helps teens find out how ready their parents are to talk about dating and sex.
In 2012, teen pregnancy rates dropped to an all-time low of 29.4 births for every 1,000 women aged fifteen through nineteen, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But PPRM isn't letting up, as evidenced by the release of these latest sex-ed tools.
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The apps and the "Been There, Done That" videos were created by the not-for-profit Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which oversees the local PPRM chapter.
"Having things like those videos gives teens a chance to hear about sexual issues from other people their age who might look and seem just like them," Engel says. "They make it easier for teens to relate."
More from our News archive circa August 2011: "Shelly Donahue's abstinence education "WAIT Training" (VIDEO)."