gURL

 
Frank girls' site has advice, fun, and iffy stuff.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Encourages girls to focus on self-esteem and health.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

The site encourages open dialogue that sometimes gets sexual. Girls discuss having sex and post topics like "If I could f--k someone famous..."

Language

The site prohibits "pornographic, racist, hateful, or otherwise inappropriate usernames" and removes language deemed inappropriate -- but words like "Hellz," "penis" and "martini" can be found.

Consumerism

Nair sponsors an advertorial section on hair removal; clothes in an avatar dress-up section link to Sears' online store.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Many of the photos users post include drinking champagne and hard liquor.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this hub for teen girls does have some valuable information (health issues) and can foster creativity (encourages poetry writing), but also has several interactive elements that might raise some eyebrows. The site monitors its message boards only "as often as we can" -- not 24 hours a day -- so questionable language and photos do slip through, although users are discouraged from posting either. Girls also ask and answer questions on frank topics like having sex in the woods; some user-posted photos show girls downing Jack Daniels or posing seductively in their underwear on a bed.

What's it about?

Packed with informative articles, interviews and more, GURL.COM is divided into six sections. Connect hosts interactive elements; Find Out features facts on topics like acne and alcohol; Play has daily horoscopes, quizzes, and a cool make-your-own game function. The Show Off section houses more than 150 teen-friendly comics, React has polls, and the Explore section neatly groups the content by topic. Membership -- required to post anything -- is free. Users can view and react to video clips from news shows and other outlets; they also can (and do) also ask other users for advice via the boards or through the site's advice column. A daily blog also covers sex topics.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It may take users their entire gURLhood to try out all the sections on GURL.com, but it's worth the wait. The site's tone is spot-on -- conversational and frank -- and longer sections are broken down into easy-to-digest sections. It tackles tough, emotionally- and politically-charged topics like eating disorders, bisexuality, and abortion with a refreshing honesty, so the site isn't appropriate for very young users, but rest assured: The subject matter is presented in a nonjudgmental way without a hint of sensationalism that's perfect for teens.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about safety online. Why isn't it safe to post a suggestive photo of you or your friends online. Who sees that photo? Even if you are using a username, why might it be dangerous to have your image online? Also, what other personal stuff is taboo to share online? What is OK to post?

Website details

Genre:Social Networking
Pricing structure:Free

This review of gURL was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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

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Kid, 12 years old April 11, 2010
age 10+
 

Yuck!

This site is horrible, if I say so myself. A lot of topics are related to sexual topics, and a lot of that stuff. It is awful bad, and anyone can say anything! This is bad.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 14 years old Written byclairise May 4, 2011
age 13+
 

perfect for any age 12+

i think this is a great website for teenage girls because it gives them the facts about their period, ther pubes, their "hair" down there and what to do with it, dating issues and family issues. its just very educational and gives you the facts on sex and everything else. i dont find it bad..
What other families should know
Educational value
Kid, 11 years old March 17, 2011
age 11+
 
I like this site estpiecally the comics and they talk about what might happen later on, or what happen if I do this. It is a good site for teaching them what might happen.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Great messages

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