Planned Parenthood Web Site Offers Sex Ed Videos for Teens

July 30, 2008 - 6:02 PM
A new Web site launched by a Planned Parenthood affiliate uses a series of video vignettes designed to “teach” teens about avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, but the videos include two boys purportedly engaging in oral sex.
(CNSNews.com) – A new Web site launched by the Columbia/Willamette (Ore.) Planned Parenthood affiliate uses a series of video vignettes designed to “teach” teens about avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, but the videos include two boys purportedly engaging in oral sex, advice to two teens in bed about getting tested after having intercourse and instructions on how to use a condom.
 
The Web site, TakeCareDownThere.org, has drawn the wrath of the pro-life, pro-family American Life League (ALL).
 
“This is another example of their type of activity that is an attempt to sexualize our young people,” Marie Hahnenberg, a researcher with ALL, told CNSNews.com. “It seems to make fun of sex, making it as some kind of game, as Planned Parenthood claims, when sex is something so sacred that it should only be between a married man and woman.”
 
The Web site features nine video vignettes with titles like “Hot & Heavy,” “Threesome,” “Bring Your Sister” and “Horse Penis Virus.”
 
The “Down There Song” video features a long list of slang terms for female and male genitalia put to music.
 
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, said Planned Parenthood has developed a reputation for controversial Web sites, which includes teenwire.com, reported on earlier by CNSNews.com.
 
She said TakeCareDownThere.org seems to portray teens as “dorky” and ignorant about sex. In the videos, a middle-aged man dressed something like Mr. Rogers offers advice to the teens – sometimes in the middle of a more-than-suggested, but less-than-depicted sex act.
 
“Guys, guys, it looks like it’s getting a little hot and heavy in here,” the man says in the “Hot and Heavy” video, which begins with two teens embracing and kissing. “Before we take this to the next level we want to make sure that you know how to use a condom.”
 
Wright said the Web site’s portrayal of teens is as highly questionable as its portrayal of sex.
 
“Each (person) is portrayed as a loser, with no depth, which is very demeaning to young people,” Wright told CNSNews.com. “The question that has to be asked – is this how Planned Parenthood views its clients?”
 
But Liz Delapoer, marketing director at the Columbia/Williamette Planned Parenthood, said the Web site was designed to broach the sometimes uncomfortable subject of sexually transmitted diseases with “the younger demographic.”
 
“We wanted to empower people to really take care of their own reproductive and sexual health,” Delapoer told CNSNews.com. “Through the Web site and the videos, we wanted to speak in a language that would be non-threatening to a younger demographic.
 
“We wanted to start a conversation with Planned Parenthood and engage (young people) in a conversation about reproductive and sexual health,” Delapoer said, adding that the site was meant to be “fun” and “playful.”
 
But Katie Collins, Phillips journalism scholar with the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute, a conservative women’s advocacy group, said the Web site seems to be aimed at “tweens” or even younger, which makes it especially offensive.
 
“This Web site was especially repulsive to me because it appeals first to very young teenagers, and contains scientifically inaccurate information but also because it denigrates sexual intimacy,” Collins said.
 
Collins claims information about STDs in one of the videos is actually misleading.
 
“In the skit (“Horse Penis Virus”), it’s presented as something that if you go for regular testing, that you’ll be safe to engage in any kind of sexual activity,” Collins said. “For men especially, regular testing does not show threat information on human papillomavirus (HPV) or herpes.”
 
Human papillomavirus is a major cause of cervical cancer in women.
 
In addition to the videos, the site leads viewers to a “learn” page, introduced by the words “Take the Ugly out of the Bumpin’ Uglies,” which provides a link for talking to a nurse and another link for teenwire.com.
 
The “visit” page, which provides contact information on Planned Parenthood clinics in the Portland, Ore., region, is introduced with the message “Be the Smartest Person in Bed.”
 
Calls to the national Planned Parenthood office were not returned by press time.