Teen Sex: Online Resources

Mainly Medical

Medical Sites

Teen Wire

Web site: http://teenwire.com

The teen outreach site of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Teen Wire offers diagrams, Q&As, and articles about sex, pregnancy, relationships, and what happens to teen bodies. The voice of the site is that of a wise teen friend, making teenwire.com especially approachable for the middle- and high-school set.

What Parents Like: Reproductive health professionals answer girls' questions in live chat rooms during scheduled appearances.

What Teens Like: An interactive, easy-to-understand animated movie about the menstrual cycle with links to articles on what to do about missed periods, surviving menstrual discomfort, and more.

I Wanna Know

Web site: http://www.iwannaknow.org/

This site is the teen division of the American Social Health Association, a nongovernmental-funded group that works across the country to distribute information about sexually transmitted diseases. Bulleted information give teens a quick look at specific sexual health considerations and STDs.

What Parents Like: A listing of questions to ask tattoo artists or body piercers to ensure an STD-free experience.

What Teens Like: A specific area concerning emotional changes during puberty -- an infrequently discussed topic!

National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Web site: http://www.teenpregnancy.org/

Sex has consequences -- that's the message of this nonprofit organization. The group aims to "improve the well-being of children, youth, and families by reducing teen pregnancy" by using in- and after-school programs to delay teens' first sexual experiences. The site has separate areas for parents, professionals, and even religious leaders, covering a wide base of adults who influence tweens and teens. Plus, a specific teen section is updated regularly to reflect sex topics on popular television shows and in popular culture.

What Parents Like: Searchable city and county birth data helps parents see what role teen pregnancy plays in their communities.

What Teens Like: Downloadable audio and video clips of TV shows, public service announcements, and mini movies with safe-sex and abstinence-related topics.

4 Girls

Web site: http://www.4girls.gov/

Written in accessible language for teen readers, this overall girls' health site is sponsored by the National Women's Health Information Center of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. Teens can safely click around the "Body" and "Relationships" sections to read about their physical development, first periods, first sexual relationships, and STDs. Other areas of the site delve into teen-pertinent topics such as body image, physical and learning disabilities, sports and fitness, depression, drugs and alcohol, and nutrition.

What Parents Like: A specific area that discusses how parents can broach the topic of puberty and sex with their teens.

What Teens Like: The "Free Stuff!" area lets girls download girl-positive Instant Messenger icons, computer desktop wallpaper, and calendars.

It's Your Sex Life

Web site: http://www.itsyoursexlife.com/

This site is an offshoot of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to educating the public about major healthcare issues that face our country. It's Your Sex Life calls itself "Your Guide to Safe & Responsible Sex," and offers teens articles and fact sheets on pregnancy and contraception, HIV and STDs, and communicating effectively with their sex partners.

What Parents Like: An interactive quiz that informs teens about recognizing STDs and taking their effects seriously.

What Teens Like: A specific area focused on talking with partners about sex -- including different real-life (not corny textbook) scenarios and how teens could react to them.

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