Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sexual Education & Social Media Chat

Edit: Transcript http://bit.ly/1wzRqWm

Sex Ed On Social Media: Quirky or Quality?
Thursday, January 8 2015
9:00pm Eastern/6:00 Pacific
Host P.F. Anderson (@pfanderson)

Join us on the Twitter #medlibs chat on Thursday at 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern time for a 1 hour discussion. Never participated in a Twitter hashtag chat before? Check out this overview and come on in, we are a supportive community and welcome all newcomers.

Librarians have a mixed reputation when it comes to sex. There is the whole meme of the "sexy librarian" contrasted with "shhhhh" and the "sarcastic librarian." As medical librarians, though, we need to be able and willing to research and discuss sexual expression related medical topics with accuracy, openness, and compassion. We have information resources, databases, strategies, and standards that may not be readily accessible to the general public.

Sexual health and sexual education is of critical importance in public health. Issues range from sexually transmitted diseases to sex abuse, gender equality to gender identity, family planning to sex worker support. In our work, we support individuals of all ages and genders, some with diagnoses that impact on their sexual expression or health. We also support professionals working with individuals, families, and communities. We all want to give people the best information to support the best personal decisions.

Then social media enters the information equation. People educate each other about matters of importance, media stars express opinions or tell stories that influence public attitudes and behaviors, and sex positive advocates such as Laci Green (probably the most prominent name of the sex positive movement) become a different type of media star. Public health professionals and medical librarians work so hard to create authoritative information resources, but then sometimes it seems as if that work misses the target audience, while non-professional messages reach them.

For medical librarians to work effectively in this realm, we need to ask ourselves several questions.

  1. What are some of the most popular sexual education and advocacy channels in social media? Are we aware of the most influential ones, and their messages? 
  2. Do popular sex ed resources promote helpful or hurtful messages? Are there sex ed social media channels we could share, or ones we should avoid recommending? 
  3. Do popular sex ed resources reach the audience we want to reach? Why? What can we learn from them? 


CDC. A Public Health Approach for Advancing Sexual Health in the United States: Rationale and Options for Implementation, 2011:http://www.health.state.mn.us/topics/sexualhealth/SexualHealthReport2011.pdf

Public Health Reports 2013 128 Suppl 1: Understanding Sexual Health http://www.publichealthreports.org/issuecontents.cfm?volume=128&issue=7

Laci Green:
- Web http://lacigreen.tv/
- Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/lacigreen
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/officiallacigreen
- Tumblr http://lacigreen.tumblr.com/
- Twitter https://twitter.com/gogreen18
- Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/pub/laci-green/62/97a/72a

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