A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this site shows very graphic videos about sexual practices -- many of which aren't even marginally appropriate for younger teens. In fact, a disclaimer before some videos suggests that teens under 18 get parental permission before watching (which may be why some users who post comments in the site's discussion section are in their 30s). The site discusses various approaches to sex ed, from abstinence to promoting safe sex. As shocking as some of the material is, the site espouses the philosophy that since kids are having sex, it needs to be talked about.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
MIDWESTTEENSEXSHOW.COM wants the content on its site to spark a frank discussion about sex -- and, as a result, its content is pretty frank. The site tackles topics including fetishes, oral sex, and abstinence via videos starring a regular group of actors (who play both same-sex and male-female couples). A new video is posted about once a month. The site also has a section featuring news about topics like birth control and a discussion section in which members of the site's crew pose questions via video. Users respond by posting comments.
Is it any good?
Some parents will undoubtedly be uncomfortable with the site's no-holds-barred, humor-infused videos -- in the clip about fetishes, for example, a husband leaves his wife suspended in bondage gear for two days; and in a video about the topic of pornography, the narrator jokingly suggests that you hide your porn "in your aunt's vagina; nobody will look there."
The site, which manages to be informative while also being interesting, aims to defuse the potentially controversial nature of its subject with humor -- these topics are, after all, considered taboo by many people. And the videos will definitely hold teens' attention and give them a fresh look at sex ed. It's up to parents to determine whether or not their teen is ready for the content. For a tamer take on topics like puberty and dating, try PBS Kids' It's My Life.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why it's important to talk about subjects like sex, even if it can be uncomfortable. Families need to be clear about their values around sexual activity. Teens: If you try to talk to your parents about sex, are they going to automatically assume you're having it? Or is it OK to ask questions about the things you don't understand? Parents: When talking with your teens about whether or not they can visit this site, use the opportunity to discuss your own values about the topic.