Parents Who Don't Teach Kids About Safe Sex Shouldn't Complain About Ads That Do (VIDEO)


condoms at a drugstoreA New York state-funded safe sex campaign is under fire for being too "racy." The web series, posted on last month, is called "More Than Just Sex" and features five PSAs starring teen actors. The videos aim to "empower young people to make positive decisions, create social change, and reduce the rates of teen pregnancy, STD's and HIV." But some critics are picking on the spicy terms used in the PSAs -- like "raw dogging" and "baby mama drama" -- claiming they're over the top. But I'm sure that's not what they really want or mean to say.

More than anything, I'm sure the bone they have to pick with the campaign is based on the mere fact that it's a government-funded campaign for safe sex (read: NOT abstinence-only education). $15K of government money went to filming these PSAs. Those opposed to them likely have a problem with the state spending precious tax dollars on teaching teens about sex at all. But that's too bad.

It's sad, but the truth is not all parents speak to their teens about safe sex soon or thoroughly enough. Some may avoid the topic altogether. And if kids aren't getting that honest, detailed discussion on the matter at home, they have to find it elsewhere. The next best thing is one of these PSAs and/or public school comprehensive sex ed class, both funded by the government. Also, I'd venture to say that even if teens are talking to their parents about the birds and the bees, it couldn't hurt to have them hearing the facts about safe sex from multiple sources. It's one of those topics you can't hear too much about. The more knowledge, the more power.

The state is also responsible for addressing public health concerns, and being that city health department statistics show teens make up more than a quarter of sexually transmitted infection patients in New York City, it's in everyone's best interest that New York state does its part to educate teens and curb STDs and unwanted pregnancies. I'm not sure I see how it's even an argument.

Here's one of the supposedly controversial PSAs ...

How do you feel about these state-funded PSAs?


Image via trec_lit/Flickr

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kebrowni kebrowni

I'm all for them and I'm pretty sure my son will be watching them one day (in addition to the talks he'll get at home).

nonmember avatar Kady

I'm all for accurate sex education. It's a parent's job to teach their children morals, but sex isn't only about morals, it's also about health and safety. Even if a person abstains from sex until marriage, it is helpful to understand the reproductive cycle and what STDs are and how to recognize symptoms as not everyone will be marrying virgins and even if they do, sometimes people cheat. Understanding the health and safety issues involved in sex is giving them more tool to make better decisions - like abstinence until they are ready.

Saying that the government shouldn't discuss sex with teenagers is the equivalent of saying that the government shouldn't warn people that cigarettes can cause lung cancer because I will teach my child not to smoke.

nonmember avatar Kristi

Very well said Kady!

ashja ashja

Great point, Kady!  Sex IS a public health issue, and that should not be left solely up to parents.

fave82 fave82

Stop assuming you know why people don't like the ads.

butte... butterflymkm

Thank you Kady-absolutely agree! We really need like and dislike buttons on here....


I don't think these should be on TV during family hours due to the kids who watch TV until 8 or 9 o'clock. It's not up to anyone else when a parent chooses to tell a child about sex and this broad market will also go to the much younger children. Any child under 10 I don't believe need to see these on TV. I see nothing wrong with them if they're on later at night or shown in schools or what have you but I don't think any ads like this should be on TV during young peoples viewing time. I also really hated the language in this. It's borderline vulgar.

PonyC... PonyChaser

I only watched the video included in the post - Vimeo and my system do NOT get along. But while I think this is a clever video - all reverse-psychological and all - I don't think kids are going to listen.

And I have a problem with the government, or anyone else, for that matter, deciding when and how I should talk to my son about sex. I have a problem with them deciding what I should teach him. It's coming to the point that I don't want to let him watch TV or listen to the radio for all of the PSA's that we're hit with (we only have over-the-air TV. You wouldn't BELIEVE how many PSA's are on it). Every time I tune in to either one, I'm inundated with the Government-sponsored "lessons" - I don't have to be a perfect parent, I need to serve this meal, not that meal. Smokey Bear says only I can prevent forest fires. Teach my child about alcohol this way, and at this time... and it goes on and on and on.

Perhaps if we try getting the government OUT of every corner of our lives, and allow parents to make their own decisions, and allow our children to suffer the consequences of their actions starting AT BIRTH, perhaps we wouldn't have so many problems with sex. Or anything else, for that matter.

GlowW... GlowWorm889

I'm with Kady. Totally agree. :)

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