Common Sense Media says

Smart sex-ed site puts spotlight on teen contributors.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The site encourages teens to take care of their sexual and emotional health, to seek help when they need it, and to respect others. A diverse array of teens are represented, from a Christian teen writing about struggles with homophobia to a first-person article about sexuality and disability.

Violence

The site addresses bullying, rape, abusive relationships, self-injury, and similar topics.

Sex

Provides medically accurate information on anatomy, STDs, birth control, pregnancy, masturbation, abortion, adoption, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other issues related to sex and health.

Language

When asking questions, teens sometimes use sexual slang instead of clinical terms for body parts or sex acts.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are cautionary messages about drinking, smoking, and using drugs -- including how they can be detrimental to sexual and emotional health.

Privacy & safety

Teens can access most of the site's content without registering. Registration requires a user name, email address, birth date, and location; only user names are displayed on the site.

 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this comprehensive sex ed site was created by experts at Rutgers University. It includes frank, fact-based information about anatomy, safer sex, resisting sexual pressure, pregnancy options, sexual orientation, and a range of other issues related to sexual health and relationships. Many of the articles are written by teens (and edited by staff), who share their personal experiences with these topics. The site is geared to both guys and girls.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading comprehension
  • text analysis

Science

  • biology

Skills

Responsibility & Ethics

  • making wise decisions
  • respect for others

Health & Fitness

  • body awareness
  • mental health

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The cool design and youthful feel will draw teens in, and they'll stick around for heartfelt content and real voices in the forums. The Fun section brings levity to a potentially uncomfortable topic.

Learning Approach

Peer-written articles are accessible to teens, and the honest, opinionated tone is bound to engage them. The forum area allows for anonymous socializing and helps teens get answers to their embarrassing questions.

Support

Information is grouped by topics that can be accessed through a clever navigation bar and further refined by type. The design should be largely intuitive for young people.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading comprehension
  • text analysis

Science

  • biology

Skills

Responsibility & Ethics

  • making wise decisions
  • respect for others

Health & Fitness

  • body awareness
  • mental health

Kids can learn about STD testing, sexual orientation, birth control, and body image on this extensive site. The love and relationships section addresses questions about crushes and the difference between love and lust; other sections touch on drug and alcohol use, decision making, and emotional issues. Parents may be relieved to know Sex, Etc. won’t tell teens what to do, but it will, however, offer plenty of resources to help them make a decision. From comics to quizzes, Sex, Etc. provides lifestyle and sexual health information in a direct but friendly tone.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Brereton

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Teen writers contribute to Sex, Etc., which helps make it feel approachable and honest; the site also gives teens the chance to help promote sexual education by linking to national organizations like the ACLU. Separate sections offer information on sexual health for both genders. Teens can also learn about sexuality, deciding to have sex for the first time, and teen pregnancy. Videos showcase unhealthy relationships, STD info, and other topics; users can also post questions and comments to the site’s moderated message boards.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Colorful and engaging, SEX, ETC. goes beyond the birds and the bees -- as its blog is titled -- to share helpful information on staying sexually and emotionally healthy. In addition to advice from experts, the site showcases first-person stories by teen contributors, who represent a diverse array of backgrounds. Hearing from their peers can reassure teens that they're not alone when it comes to questions about their bodies, trouble with bullies, pressure to have sex, and other common concerns. The site smartly recognizes that the media can be a major source of myths and misinformation about sex and encourages teens to think critically about what they see and hear.

Online interaction: Users who register can ask questions, post in forums, comment on articles, and share their stories. Content is moderated before it's published, and interactions are respectful.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about media messages about sex. What TV shows or movies depict sex and relationships in a way that's realistic?

  • Every family has different opinions on the best approach to discussing sex and sexual health. Talk about your values and expectations when it comes to sex. Some teens are afraid to talk to their parents about sex. Would your teens feel comfortable approaching you if they had a question or concern? Why or why not? 

  • How do you know who (or what) is a trustworthy source of information?

Website details

Genre:Educational
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Sex, Etc. was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byMr. Critic October 6, 2011
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

This site tries to make itself a safe target, but instead fails.

Sex, Etc. Is an easily accessible site that offers advice on sex and puberty for teens. Unfortunately, the site implies that having sex is OK as long as you use protection. This is why the site is covered with tips on what condoms to wear, what lube to use, how to use your birth control, etc. So, basically this site increases teens to think that having sex at a young age is OK. If this site were targeted for adults rather then teens, then it would have more hope.

Violence: The site discusses self injury, rape, bullying, and other similar topics.

Language: Teens often use the F-word in terms of sex and words like "pu--y", and "D-ck" are used for private body parts.

Sex: Sex is what this site is all about. From condoms, sexual positions, and sexual forums. Sex is the main topic for this site even the title itself. Luckily, there is no nudity and or pornographic entertainment.

Drinking/Drugs: Discussion of drugs and cigarettes is talked about as something harmful to both sex and the human body.

Messages and Role Models: Despite the fact that this site gives teens some good advice. There are plenty of tips on how to have sex at a safe level, practically making it easier on teens to decide whether to have sex or not.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byMillyMolly September 15, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

ok

This site isn't bad. It goes into a lot of detail, but many teens are going to have to find out sooner or later. It gives the right info though. It depends on the maturity of the teen if it's ok for them.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent of an infant, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 11 year old Written byResponsibleParentOf9 December 31, 2012
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

No, no, no!

This website is not for teenagers! It is for mindless adults because it has too much sexual content!

What other families should know
Too much sex

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