Sex Query? Experts Help Teens Via Texting

Health professionals text teens answers to anonymous sex questions
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2009 3:14 PM CDT
A young woman holds her cell phone.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Teenagers no longer need to reveal their angst over pregnancy or noisy sex in crowded classrooms, the New York Times reports. Public health officials, fretting over the state of sex ed in US schools, are now answering questions via text message. Some use multiple choice menus and automated responses, but one North Carolina program lets kids text in anonymously and receive personalized, non-judgmental answers within 24 hours.

“Technology reduces the shame and embarrassment,” said one nonprofit director. “They don’t learn about this from adults lecturing them.” But those who support the status quo—which in some states mandates abstinence-only education—consider such services dangerous. "Kids can have access to this on their cellphones when they’re away from parental influence, and it can’t be controlled," said one. (Read more teenager stories.)