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‘Parents, Tweens and Sex’ iPad app: the leader for enabling Sexual Intelligence

‘Parents, Tweens and Sex’ iPad app: the leader for enabling Sexual Intelligence

Research indicates that children are entering into precocious puberty earlier and such physical changes at a young age places a responsibility on psychologists, educators, and parents, to equip tweens (10 – 13 year olds) with the sexual intelligence needed to be mindful, comfortable, respectful and responsive when they eventually have sexual relationships. Having discussions about confronting sexual issues doesn’t give tweens permission to engage in indiscriminate sex, but rather provides a framework to reflect on consequences of words and actions to help tweens choose to behave responsibly. 

The gap in the market for engaging, safe and enjoyable resources for enabling sexual intelligence with tweens was resolved with the release of ‘Parents, Tweens and Sex’ iTunes app (PTSapp) – a finalist in the Digital Design category of the 2013 Premier’s design awards. The design of this ground-breaking app carefully balances information and educational content with accessible, intuitive and engaging functionality. Authored by Counselling Psychologist and Clinical Sexologist, Sarah Calleja, PTSapp is the outcome of collaboration with the Faculty of Design, Swinburne University. Content is divided into eight sections, accessible by a main contents page allowing the user to access information in sequence or isolation. The unique use of videos narratives; psychosexual information and interactive quizzes create a stimulus for discussion.

PTSapp uses digital media as a medium to promote ‘Sexual Integrity’ defined as ‘when privileges and responsibility embrace each other’, and provides the stimulus to begin discussions of phenomena such as digital tattioos and digital condoms. Recent research conducted by the Australian Government through the Australian Communications and Media Authority identified the issues of cyber-safety to be one of the highest concerns to parents. Critical issues identified were ‘exposure to inappropriate content’, ‘unwanted contact from strangers’, and ‘protecting personal information’. ‘Informed consent’ and ‘Sexual Integrity’ are other critical issues. The high prevalence of these responses within the community reinforces the necessity to create a space for shared dialogue using digital media’s capabilities and open exchange of information around sexual issues.

Speakers: Sarah Calleja
Areas of Interest / Categories: Asia Oceania Federation of Sexology 2014, Parenthood

Asia Oceania Federation of Sexology 2014

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