A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Amaze is a site designed to help kids learn about sexual education, their changing bodies, and positive relationships. Sexual topics are covered in an informative way, without sensationalizing content. Registration isn't required to use this video-centric site. Users can't comment on videos that are housed on the site, so there's little chance kids will see foul language or inappropriate banter.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Created by three health and sexual information advocacy groups in 2016, AMAZE serves as an online sexual education resource for kids age 10 to 14. Short videos hosted on the site's YouTube channel and on Amaze focus on topics ranging from puberty to STDs and HIV, pregnancy, and personal safety. Each video features written information for kids and resources for parents, such as conversation starters. A Parent Playlist series added in 2018 is designed to help parents talk with four- to nine-year-olds about sex, healthy relationships, and growing up. A separate section called Amaze Jr. also focuses on migrating the parent playlist content into a collection of info for younger kids between four and nine, with age-appropriate topics and resources.
Is it any good?
This education-based site was created to provide accurate, relatable content for kids who might otherwise stumble upon pornographic content when searching for sexual health information. Amaze's founders used focus groups to determine what subjects and structure -- including humor, music, and narration -- they should include. The result is a site with concise videos that provide an overview for several topics kids may be wondering about.
The videos take a generally informative, not opinionated approach to the subject matter they cover. One on deciding whether you're ready to have sex or not, for example, mentions elements to consider but doesn't advise kids to make one choice or another. Since launching, the site has added a My Amaze feature, which lets parents share specific videos or groups of videos with their child through a protected page that doesn't contain links to the rest of the site. Because a few videos touch on controversial topics (e.g., masturbation) that some parents may want to discuss with their kids in person, or feel they're too young to know about, parents will likely welcome the chance to handpick viewing selections. An age guide and a Parent Playlist series, added in 2018, was created to help parents discuss sex, healthy relationships, and other topics with four- to nine-year-olds. There's also a separate section called Amaze Jr. that focuses on migrating the parent playlist content into a collection of info for younger kids between four and nine, with age-appropriate topics and resources. That includes content like, "Where do babies come from?" Still, videos don't seem to be posted often enough for kids to check back daily; some sections contain 18 or so items, and others have just a few. But there's plenty of content to hold their interest when they initially stop by -- and the information is presented in an approachable way for a younger audience, using cartoon characters to illustrate concepts.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how gender and sexual identity are shown in media. Do you have any concerns about how gender and sexual identity are shown in TV shows or movies?
Do you or your child have any concerns about puberty-related changes? Do the videos and content on sites like Amaze reduce the concerns related to facing these physical and emotional changes?
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