Do you remember sex-ed class in high school? Did you even have a class? Or would you prefer to forget it? Did you slink down in your seat, embarrassed for yourself, embarrassed for your teacher at the front of the room, shifting from foot to foot uncomfortably, running down the list of STDs or explaining what a uterus is and where it’s located in the female body? Did you quietly pray to the goddess of public school education that she pleeease find someone closer to your own age who knew something, anything about what it was you were actually going through to teach the class? Or did you take matters into your own hands and turn to television, the Internet or your friends for information?
Maybe you envisioned sexually transmitted diseases as the young filmmaker of "Sex Monsters" did – as a big, scary, green monster chasing you and your boyfriend or girlfriend through the streets as you tried desperately to get your questions about sex answered honestly? Or did you learn about as much as Anthony Green did from his sex-ed class as he hilariously outlines in "My Sex Ed Experience"?
Whatever your experience with sexuality education, whatever your thoughts about how you think sexuality education should be taught, I defy you to ignore the voices of young people coming through loud and clear in the 65-plus videos that have been submitted, from around the country, to our Fresh Focus: Sex Ed Digital Video Contest – a partnership between RH Reality Check, Isis, Inc., Advocates for Youth, SIECUS and the National Sexuality Resource Center.
We asked young people ages 15 – 30 years old, from around the country, to use video technology to highlight the sexuality education they had (or wished they’d had) or to envision the way they’d like sexuality education to be taught. And the stories are breathtaking.
Brutally honest, shockingly perceptive and sometimes hilarious, these videos are a wake-up call from young people of all cultures, ethnicities and gender-identities. Through these animated shorts, narratives and short documentaries, the young video-makers are making their point loud and clear:
“We want thorough sexuality education!”
“We want teachers who understand what we’re going through!”
“We want honest answers to our questions!”
“We want more peer-to-peer communication on these issues.”
We’ve narrowed it down to ten finalists – ten videos that we think best reflect the themes of our contest, that use technology most creatively, are most interesting to watch and that make their point clearly and constructively. From this group of ten final videos we want YOU to select three winners.
Finalists will have the opportunity to travel to San Francisco on January 22nd & 23rd to screen their videos at the inaugural Sex::Tech Conference at a screening moderated by the god-parents of sex-ed videos: the hosts of The Midwest Teen Sex Show! And the winners will be announced at the conference on January 22nd!
First prize winner receives a $3500 scholarship to the school of their choice or the cash equivalent, second prize is $1000 and third prize is a choice between an iPhone, a Nintendo Wii or a Nikon P5000 camera.
Starting today and ending next Wednesday, January 16th, I’ll post one or two of the top ten videos each day – and then you can go over to DoGooder TV and vote for your favorites!! Here's today's top ten finalist for your viewing pleasure:
Although we have chosen ten finalists and from that group can only chose three winners, all of the young people who devoted their time, energy and creativity to this contest and submitted a video deserve tremendous recognition. In fact, in an ideal world, all of the presidential candidates would watch each and every one of these videos. Viewed altogether, they give us insight not only into what our young people are thinking and feeling but insight into how we are failing our youth terribly if we continue politicizing this issue the way we do.
Providing comprehensive sexuality education to our young people is crucial to ensuring a healthy society. Our teen birth rate has risen for the first time in fifteen years. Is it any wonder, as we pour more money than ever before into abstinence-only-until-marriage education? Withholding information, as we hear from these videos, is not working.
What does work? Watch the top ten videos in our Fresh Focus: Sex Ed Digital Video Contest and find out!
Don’t forget to VOTE NOW for your favorites!!