It's Your (Sex) Life

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
It's Your (Sex) Life Website Poster Image
Frank, helpful sexual-health resource covers all the basics.

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The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about sexual health, ranging from the most common types of sexually transmitted diseases, including STD prevention and testing, to preventing and dealing with pregnancy. The site dispels common sex-related myths, highlights abstinence as an option, and also provides information on safe sex. Users will learn the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship and get tips on talking about uncomfortable subjects. The site presents helpful, fairly thorough information in a visual, easy-to-understand format and takes an information-is-power stance toward sex education.

Positive Messages

Site content urges kids to make responsible, safe decisions about sex and participate in healthy relationships.

Violence
Sex

Teens will get frank information but nothing gratuitous. 

Language

A few blog posts contain words such as "s--t" and "damn."

Consumerism

Kids will see plugs for MTV shows on virginity and teen pregnancy. Blog posts also sometimes tie into MTV programming.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the site focuses on sexual health and relationship information but doesn't encourage or pressure kids to have sex. A section presents the idea of waiting to become sexually active -- either for the first time or in a new relationship -- as an option, and abstinence is frequently identified as the best way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. It's Your (Sex) Life is a great, frank resource for teens who have questions about relationships, sexuality, and health. 

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What's it about?

The IT'S YOUR (SEX) LIFE site, launched in 1997 by MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation, is part of MTV's Peabody Award-winning It's Your (Sex) Life sexual health campaign. The site provides pregnancy prevention, STD, and relationship information, including content from the Get Yourself Tested campaign, sponsored by organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the American College Health Association. Teens also see stats, debunked myths, answers to common questions -- and information about MTV shows on teen pregnancy and virginity.

Is it any good?

MTV's It's Your (Sex) Life website provides an overview of most of the major topics that sexually active (or about-to-be sexually active) teens may wonder about including which methods prevent pregnancy, which don't, how sexually transmitted diseases are contracted, and how to have safe sex. The information is presented in an easy-to-digest format, using statistics that drive the point home; Q&A-type sections; short video conversations; and fact-or-fiction breakdowns that clear up common pregnancy and other myths. The site doesn't encourage kids to become sexually active; abstinence is presented as a beneficial option, as well as the best way to prevent STDs.

Except for a weekly relationship blog, most of the content is static, and users can't interact on the site. That makes it a safer experience -- but it also doesn't give users too many reasons to come back on a regular basis. The site may not be something your teen checks daily; but when issues arise, it can serve as a helpful resource. In a perfect world, kids would come to you with every body, sex, and relationship question. In the one we live in, that may not always happen -- but parents can rest assured that kids turning to It's Your (Sex) Life will find clear, informational answers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss sexual health and becoming sexually active. What does your teen need to know about safe sex? 

  • Topics such as abstinence, sex, and illness can be tough to talk about. Discuss the importance of being open and honest with your teen, and encourage your child to always feel comfortable coming to you with questions and concerns.

  • Ask your child how he or she feels about the way teenage sexuality is portrayed in TV shows and movies. Does it seem accurate to your child? What characters reflect how your child feels?

Website details

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