Giving “the talk” to your children can be very awkward because kids these days can come up with so many weird questions that you might run out of ways to answer them. That said, it’s still important to address these sex and puberty questions or else they will end up on the Internet, confused and clueless about the birds and the bees.
Buying a book on sex education might be a good way to educate them but let’s be real, not many children like to read books. So, in this day and age why not give them this education through their phone and to do that there are some awesome sex education apps for teens. The obvious advantage of these apps is that the information comes from reliable sources.
Best Sex Education Apps
Amaze is a non-profit organization which creates animated videos for sex education. While they don’t have a mobile app yet, you can access the videos either from the website, or social channels such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, etc.
The video covers a vast range of topics from Puberty to Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity to Personal Safety, etc. For example, some of their popular videos cover topics such as – Top Signs Boys are in Puberty, and Masturbation: Totally Normal
The videos strictly have animated characters and the body part illustrations are also based on them. There are additional topics such as sexual harassment and bullying. These videos are divided into sub-sections so it is easy for you to browse through them. Once you register on the website as a parent, you can share links of videos or group of videos with your children. Your kid will only be able to watch those videos which you have shared and nothing else. This makes Amaze a good choice as you being the parent get to decide what your kid is watching.
Amaze has a huge credible content management team so you don’t need to worry about the accuracy of the information. If you aren’t comfortable with English, the web app supports Spanish, Korean and bunch of other languages.
Best For – Kids age between 11-14. This is the time when kids haven’t matured intellectually and the videos will help them to cope up with the bodily changes.
2. Reach out Editions
Reach out Editions was initially developed to tackle sexual abuse and misconduct. Further, the app expanded its scope to sexual health and information. Once you open the app, you have to select the organization you are a part of or you want to check for. Further, it displays laws, guidelines, help and university resources for the concerned organization.
I love the way in which the app deals with sexual help. You can raise a request for a test at a particular college. Once they give you an affirmative response, you can reach out to them via email. Upon availability, the student can conduct the test at the center and get the results.
Apart from these, some colleges also have online material about sex education and physical health. You can go through the documents and learn more about it.
Best For – children who are the victim of bullying and sexual abuse. For people confused about medical checkups and tests, this is a great alternative rather than searching the Internet. You can arrange a medical test at any college.
3. My Sex Doctor Lite
I would prefer to call it MYSD. Along with the big name comes a big repository of information which can be accessed without any registration. In case you find out a new word or slang that you aren’t aware of then you can search the inbuilt dictionary. Along with the meaning, it provides some tips and suggested FAQs that will tell you more about the topic.
Apart from all the other apps mentioned, this one has a unique feature called Symptom Checker. You can choose from a list of symptoms, the problems you are going through and it tells you the name of the STDs the person might have possibly contracted. It also lets you do the search vice versa by searching STDs and knowing its symptoms.
There is no consultation option available in this app. There is a paid version of this app called My Sex Doctor Plus which is just an ad-free variant.
Best For – The app is generally for kids in their teenage. The information in the app is static and curated by the app team so the information is credible, unlike a forum.
4. Real Talk
Real Talk is a unique sex education app in the way it approaches this topic. It is developed by a group of women who worked as teachers in the Teach for America campaign. The whole idea of the app is to impart education by means of real-life stories. You have to provide your phone number to register in the app. The app interface looks colorful and vibrant.
When you open the app, the home page consists of stories of teenagers in the form of chat bubbles. These stories revolve around the topic of puberty, gender, relationships and much more. Kids often feel isolated in such times and by means of these stories comes a sense of realization of similar teens around. Since the lessons in the app are in the form of a teenage story, it is much quicker to recall than a biology lesson.
Since you stay anonymous in the app, it gives you a certain amount of confidence to voice your own story. The only problem with the app is that it requires you to register your phone number initially before you can continue. Not many kids will be willing to give their phone number upfront.
Best For – If your kid is an introvert and you are not able to talk through him/her about this topic, this app could be a good option. This will help him realize there are other children around with similar issues and thus help him open up more.
Roo is an AI chat bot which you can only be accessed through the mobile browser. The interface is similar to iMessages or WhatsApp, where you can ask questions like “What happens during puberty?” or “is masturbation bad for health” and the bot will reply with a predefined text and few relevant links. The app in itself is a novel idea and still has to go a long way but it certainly brings you closer to the feeling of talking to an actual person.
The website has a huge library of FAQs which addresses a variety of topics. The source of these pieces of information is also mentioned on the site and you can fact-check for yourself. Roo caters to an age group ranging from puberty to adulthood. The app also lets you take appointments with health experts which is chargeable. You can also get guidance about your health condition on call and then book services accordingly. This is way better than searching queries and visiting forums on Google to get inaccurate information.
The chatbot is not contextual and cannot keep up with conversations. It also has a difficulty understanding complex queries so it’s better to choose the suggested questions accordingly.
Best For – kids of any age and especially if they like texting. There are times when you run out of answers for their questions and Roo comes in play there. It has a huge repository to provide in return to the questions and plus this education is in the form of conversation.
Visit Roo (Mobile only)
Best Sex Education Apps
All the apps in itself have its own purpose. There might be kids who prefer reading rather than watching. For the reader or really geek ones, My Sex Doctor Lite is a good option. If your kid likes to watch videos, Amaze is a really intuitive way to provide sex education with the help of cartoons.
Lastly, whatever method you choose please be patient with kids as it is normal for them to be curious and ask uncomfortable questions. Deal with them carefully and provide only the information which is relevant and understandable at their age. If necessary, involve a third person as well. In case if you have any questions regarding this topic, feel free to reach out to me on any social media platforms.