By Carla Thornton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Nonpartisan info for teens on avoiding pregnancy.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn how to make informed decisions about relationships and sex with a focus on the effects of teen pregnancy on their lives. Candid articles and short videos bust myths and communicate facts about sex, birth control, sexually transmitted illnesses, and relationship skills. Games attempt to drive the message home and, in most cases, they get kids to apply what they’ve learned, but they could be more engaging and involved to keep teens interested. Stay Teen covers the scope of sexual responsibility in a sensible and straightforward way that will resonate with teens.
By using excellent writing, compelling pregnancy statistics, and teens’ own voices this site successfully drives home the message that it’s OK to be a virgin. Without preaching or blaming, it offers all the right reasons why kids should "stay teen" -- carefree and unencumbered by early parenthood -- until adulthood.
Products & Purchases
Somewhat confusingly, the site refers to the videos that teens can create and upload as "ads," we assume because they can be considered promotions for sexual responsibility. The site actually is advertisement free except for two banners for educational TV programs about teen pregnancy.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this nicely done educational site is sponsored by the nonprofit organization National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. The nonpartisan, secular advice is sensible and straightforward. To help spread the message that abstinence is cool, the site features videos for teens made by teens enjoying their high school years without the complications of young parenthood. Just beware that a few young visitors have used the site to leave glowing comments about teen motherhood and post photos of themselves with their babies.
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What’s It About?
Stay Teen provides kids with articles, videos, polls, and games. Kids can also leave comments and questions in several places (anonymously, if they choose). Articles about teen pregnancy, relationships, birth control, sexually transmitted illnesses, and more are in the “Stay Informed” section. “Features” and “Stay Tuned” cover a few related current events and TV shows about teen life and pregnancy. In the “Videos” section, teens and stars from popular shows like 16 and Pregnant encourage kids to “Stay teen.”
Is It Any Good?
With its hip black-and-white Obamaesque design and fresh voice, Stay Teen is able to teach valuable lessons about teen pregnancy without coming off as stodgy or didactic. The teen-friendly, expertly written content covers everything from dating violence to contraception while providing light-hearted moments in the form of teen-created videos celebrating life, all under the umbrella of sexual responsibility. Not an easy thing to do but this site pulls it off nicely.
Online interaction: This site is primarily an educational tool, not a place for kids to network. Teens can upload and leave comments about videos, and they can "friend" the site in order to get updates at MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Think MTV. The Youth Online Network mailing list announces contests and sends notifications when TV shows or magazines cover teen pregnancy. However, there are no chat, message board, or email tools. Comments on the site so far are sparse, and most of these are long, off-topic posts from girls either dealing with pregnancy scares or expressing satisfaction with being a teen mother.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can use this site as a springboard to open up the lines of communication. Do teens feel comfortable asking about sex and relationships? If not, why not? How can parents make it easier to talk about these important topics so kids make wise choices? (Read our advice in Talking to Kids About Premarital Sex.)
Discuss whether, as some teens on this site claim, there are any positive aspects to becoming a teen parent. How do the negative parts outweigh the positive? How can teens respect others' choices without making the same mistakes?
- Skills: Communication: conveying messages effectively, listening, Emotional Development: identifying emotions, labeling feelings, self-awareness, Responsibility & Ethics: learning from consequences, making wise decisions
- Genre: Educational
- Pricing structure: Free
- Last updated: November 5, 2015
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