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A New York state-funded safe sex campaign is under fire for being too "racy." The web series, posted on Vimeo.com 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