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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Positive Sexual Health Media

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Author Topic: Positive Sexual Health Media
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The media is notorious for presenting images of unrealistic and unhealthy ideals, and of mixed messages of human sexuality in general (by allowing commercials where scantily-clad women are grinding their bodies up against men and cars, and that's okay, but heaven forbid we ever see a woman's bare breast), and we've certainly had topics on the negative aspects...

But I've run across some television commercials that actually make me feel hope for the media having a more positive affect in education of safer sexual health.

To name two specific ads floating around in particular that I think are being wonderful presented to spread awareness and information -

There's an HPV commercial airing on a few cable channels (I've seen them on some of the networks with programming more geared toward women in general) where women explain the real statisitics of HPV, that HPV can cause cervical cancer; it's a very straight-forward and well-presented commercial, in my opinion. It encourages you to TALK about HPV, to talk to your doctor/gynecologist about HPV, and to realize that it is a real risk. I think this is an especially important commercial as far as awareness goes and in the timing, with the vaccine being approved recently.

The second set of adds comes in a sort of mixed-bag way. MTV, while I think the majority of its programming plays into that body-image-perfect-ideal, and shows that make it seem okay to objectify and over-sexualize women, still in the midst of all of the mixed messages, DOES have some fairly progressive and important programing and advertising in spreading important messages. They have for a long time been fore-runners in spreading the message that ANYONE who is sexually active should be using protection and GETTING ANNUAL STI SCREENS! Not to mention talking about sex with your parents, and parents to talk about sex with their teens.

A new line of ads they're running at the moment are incredibly clever and effective at showing the importance of talking about sex with your parents and talking about STIs. The commercials show a parent sneaking in or returning home, and the teen confronts the parent, "I found condoms in your room, and I want to say I'm proud of you. But I'm worried, too, I'm so glad you're using protection, but I don't think you've been tested yet..."

So, what do you all think about POSITIVE sexual messages in the media? Where have you seen other ads that make you want to give the thumbs up for at the very least getting the awareness out there?

aka dailicious
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Posts: 3382 | From: Denver, Colorado | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I always like seeing that commercial about HIV/AIDS where there are the shots of several different couples taking goofy photos in a photobooth, and then it shows some text that reads "HIV/AIDS- It can happen to you too" or something to that effect.

Also, I've seen some recently that I think might be put out by Planned Parenthood, but I'm not sure. They'll have flashes of a dark bedroom and a couple on a bed, with dialogue in the background that goes something like "Is this okay?" "Yes." "What about this?" "Not yet." "Okay." And then it shows some text about sexual consent and talking about sex.

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I've seen ads about condoms, annual breast exam and vaginal infection. Those are the one I remember having seen over the course of my life. So that's when you realize that they're not that much ads like that.

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The HPV ones are the ones that stick out the most in my mind, mostly because they are the most recent ads I've seen.

And although it's still on an abstinence-please approach, I noticed that the former abstinence ads have been amended to say "Abstain, Or Use a Condom." At least it's a step in the right direction.

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Here in Australia we have a really good campaign aimed at reducing the stigma surrounding genital herpes, to encourage people to seek diagnosis and treatment. It points out that 1 in 8 sexually active Australians are estimated to have herpes, but many do not seek treatment-- in fact a lot of women self-medicate for thrush instead. It points out how essential it is to seek proper treatment for any unusual genital symptoms; good stuff.
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