This past weekend saw the Sex::Tech conference here in San Francisco, which I regrettably missed. Sex educators from all over the world (but mainly North America) converged on The City for the 4th annual conference on new media, youth and sexual health. Many friends and people I admire were in attendance (I am home fighting flu.) Fortunately, Sex:Tech is attended by very tech-savvy people (and there was a Sex::tech Drupal meetup!).
Major props to Sex:Tech 2011 sponsors – a special shout out to my friends at Sonic.net for visible support of a truly cutting-edge and exciting conference. That is so cool.
I’m not going to miss it next year. I’d like to rally some of the Bay Area’s tech innovators and power players to get involved and chip in on strategies and high-tech solutions for sexual health education and STD/HIV prevention. Think about it. Over 80% of teens sleep with their phones. They want accurate sex information. I know we can make a difference.
After the jump is my armchair coverage, with videos and resources for all.
- A great way to see some of what we missed – below is the Sex::tech day 1 keynote featuring Scenarios USA (described below) and the welcome by conference founder Deb Levine; on the day 2 keynote, it was a controversial talk on Behind the Scenes with MTV’s 16 and Under.
- Another great place to start is the ISIS white paper. This white paper, which was completed in March 2011 and funded by the Ford Foundation takes a deep dive into how youth, particularly youth of color, use technology for their sexual and reproductive health. It also identifies opportunities for new digital programming.
Here is the (then-live) presentation of the white paper, with slides – what a great talk:
- Sex::Tech partnered with Funny or Die to raise awareness with humor in the searing video, Sex Advice From Adults:
- Tres Sugar has a great post about the start of the conference, Modern Ways to Teach Today’s Youth About Sexual Health. “[Founder] Deb Levine said that “while we’re reaching some youth with messages that work, we’re not reaching our most vulnerable youth.” Luckily, she proposed some solutions.”
There are many liveblogged panels and presentations concisely written on Sex::Tech’s blog, including these highlights:
- This is a great highlight liveblog post of the session on Multimedia Approaches to Reaching Youth. Very interesting statistics.
- Another terrific, well written liveblog post on an interesting session with lots of points: Teen sex ed as Virtual Worlds and Video Games.
- Liveblogged, and with great quotes: amazing panel featuring Scarleteen staff the National Youth Leadership Network on Including Marginalized Youth Online: Gender, Disability, and Social Justice.
More great links via the weekend’s #sextech Twitter hashtag:
- This looks like a great resource of short films for parents who want to jump-start conversations or explore difficult sexual topics with teens: All 22 Scenarios USA films address communication, relationships and decision making. Film topics include Pregnancy Prevention, HIV/AIDS, Body Image, Sexual Identity and many other themes.
- For people who run WordPress blogs and want a simple way to link sex terms to sex-positive definitions, the Simple Sex Positive Glossary WordPress plugin might be the way to go. The plugin links words on your blog to a combination of About: Sex and Scarleteen definitions (only), so we know they’re actually vetted sex-positive definitions. One strange thing I noticed about it is that it has been set to override Scarleteen’s definitions with About’s. It’s still a great resource for people who want to offer it to readers.
- A worthwhile petition to send out to Californians: the Restore the Community Challenge Grant (CCG) Program in California petition asks Governor Brown to restore funding to teen pregnancy prevention programs. Please!
- Flipside: The Pushback is a website that offers community and support to young women who are teen moms; an invaluable and respectful resource for young parents, and includes sex education, links to teen mommybloggers and more.
- It wasn’t just Nirvana that had the feeling: Everyone Is Gay is another great teen resource (and parents can enjoy it too!) Kristin and Dannielle (founder of Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber) are “girls who like girls, and who give advice to those who are confused about sexuality, gender-identity, dating, falling in love, or even dressing up like Super Woman.”