Videos give teens new view of sex ed

The videos are hip, funny and entertaining, yet packed with a message.

From the cartoon couple chased by a deadly sexually transmitted disease monster to the new sex education teacher who reveals everything, the videos plea for frank talk about sex.

“If sex ed doesn’t address the things kids want to know, it’s just talking to the hand,” says 18-year-old Kylee Darcy of Fairfax as she holds up her hands at the end of her video animation, a plea for a Web site where youths can find answers to their questions about sex.

The videos, designed by young people to highlight the confusing messages they receive about sex, were shown Tuesday at the kickoff of the novel “Sex::Tech” conference in San Francisco.

More than 300 people gathered to explore how to use the technology so widely embraced by teens today — from text messaging to social networking sites to video games — to improve their knowledge of sex and health.

“Too many people, including many parents, fear that all these new communication technologies will lead young people into dangerous sexual activities,” said Deb Levine, founder of Internet Sexuality Information Services, sponsor of the event with the National Sexuality Resource Center.

“But the truth is that they can actually enhance sexual well-being,” Levine said. “There are wonderful opportunities ahead using sexual health promotion tools via cell phones, Internet and PDAs.”

The conference brought together a diverse group of young people, sex education counselors, school leaders and health experts.

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