Parents' Guide to

Scarleteen

By Susan Yudt, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Edgy sex-ed site best suited for mature teens.

Scarleteen homepage.

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this website.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 13+

It's okay. It has good information, but I have disagreed with the owner and her staff

This site is definitely better than a lot of American resources on sexuality. It's great information for someone just learning or someone who needs clarification. When it comes to other topics (like trauma and non-white readers), I feel like this site could improve. Scarleteen was suggested to me by a hotline. When I posted on the forum, I wasn't connecting with the staff. It seemed like they didn't know much about my experiences and were just doing "guess-work." I probably am not the ideal person for their site. I am sure this site is good for many other youth. I know that scarleteen aren't professional therapists, and we can't expect them to know everything. Take what you agree with from this site, but it's okay to leave what you don't agree with.
age 14+

For Mature Teens going through Puberty

I believe it would be best if your kid is old enough and would be going through puberty because it covers stuff like, periods, discharges, and Sex Ed.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Billing itself as "sex ed for the real world," this site's frank, nonjudgmental approach to talking about sex features a cheeky style and conversational tone that should appeal to older teens. Some of Scarleteen's subject matter may be controversial -- in addition to informative pieces on pelvis-related medical issues, there's also content that addresses foreplay -- but the information provided is accurate and can give teens get a better understanding of their bodies and their sexual feelings. Some of the numerous topics covered range from sexual identity to sexual politics and the science behind bodily changes. Efforts have also been made to be inclusive, with content mentioning, for instance, how to talk about a disability and a first-person account of being bisexual. In addition to question-and-answer-style write-ups, items also are written in some creative formats, such as an article that breaks sexual activities down by high, moderate, or low STI risk.

The advice on relationships and emotional health is particularly insightful, from tackling stereotypes like "real men don't cry" to exploring options for teens seeking psychotherapy -- subjects kids' health classes might not have addressed. Teens can also get a more personalized experience through the site's message boards, where they can post under headings such as Gender or Supporting Each Other, or by texting the site's messaging service. They can also chat live with a volunteer or staff member, who are available for conversations during certain hours Monday through Saturday. Message board users are generally respectful, and staff and volunteer moderators keep an eye on the boards -- which seems to help that aspect of Scarleteen remain as positive and encouraging as the rest of the site.

Website Details

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