Why? Body Talk for Kids - Comprehensive Sex Education Tools that Kids Want to Use
"Why? Body Talk for Kids" Comprehensive Sex Education Tools that Kids Want to Use
Puberty and sex education can be uncomfortable and challenging to discuss. This project aims to create trusted comprehensive puberty and sex education resources that meet the country’s youth where they are, use their own language, and include them in the conversation. It takes the form of a two-pronged system comprised of in-person, enjoyable interactives, and private digital resources. The interactives act as a fun way to build trust in the system and bridge to private digital resources that dive deeper into more nuanced, inclusive, and personal subjects to break down stigmas surrounding the experiences associated with puberty and create a more open, empathetic puberty experience.
Human-Centered Design (HCD) principles were applied to the discovery process of this project, including interviews with users and topic experts, journey mapping, and walk-a-mile exercises. Experiences and feelings associated with puberty, regardless of gender, were identified to find primary research on what children are feeling and where they seek answers during puberty. Searching for answers to questions related to any of these identified topics using internet search engines resulted in no inquires returning content written for children as the top result. Through additional searching and guidance from public health professionals, the best resources for puberty education written for children lived through videos on youtube.
The goal of this research mode was to discover what content children are accessing and what they are hoping to find there. Analyzing the comments left on top-performing puberty and sex education youtube videos reveals that children are incredibly open about changes in their bodies, insecurities, and questions about their physical health they do not feel comfortable telling their parents. These comments show a level of vulnerability and reveal that children actively seek answers about their puberty woes enough to ask strangers, confirming that a trusted resource around these topics is needed.
This project aims to be a trusted resource for both children and their guardian's for comprehensive sex and puberty education by developing a fun passive way to learn about bodies in the form of a tabletop game that leads into more private, comprehensive resources that replicate a peer education program within a digital resource that meets children where they are and mimics the user interfaces of the apps they spend time in.
"Why? Body Talk for Kids" fills a resource hole by creating a trusted platform that meets children where they are using their own language. It leverages the success of peer-to-peer education in this space by centering video content, recommendations, and stories around young, "cool," certified educators that create educational content for the app in the tone of an older sibling or mentor. Most importantly, it includes children in the conversation.