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The use of technology in the sexual health education especially among minority adolescent girls in the United States

Brayboy, Lynae M.a,b; McCoy, Katrynac; Thamotharan, Snehad,e; Zhu, Emilyf; Gil, Gabrielag; Houck, Christopherd,e

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: October 2018 - Volume 30 - Issue 5 - p 305–309
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000485
ADOLESCENT AND PEDIATRIC GYNECOLOGY: Edited by Roshi M. Zinn

Purpose of review The purpose of this review is to examine current sexual health education technologies for adolescents and identify gaps in knowledge. Disparities in sexual health education are prominent and mainly affect young women of color. As a result, the use of technology to reach these marginalized populations could potentially invoke change. Thus, it is crucial to determine the viability of technology as a mechanism to bridge the knowledge gap regarding sexual health for adolescents that are most at risk of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.

Recent findings With a lack of standardized, evidenced-based sexual health education programs in the United States, the future of comprehensive sexual health education is moving toward smartphone apps. Many sexual health technologies exist that target adolescents, most of which have been proven to demonstrate positive effects. Use of mobile apps, especially for vulnerable populations, can be more effective because of privacy and widespread dissemination.

Summary Ultimately, more research needs to be conducted to determine the most effective content for these sexual health apps. Additionally, more research should be conducted on effective sexual health apps for marginalized populations to determine whether technology is a viable solution.

aDivision of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island

bDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

cSchool of Nursing & Health Studies, University of Washington Bothell, Bothell, Washington

dDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Rhode Island Hospital

eDepartment of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

fDepartment of Public Health

gDivision of Biology and Medicine, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Correspondence to Lynae M. Brayboy, MD, Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, 101 Dudley Street, Floor 1, Providence, RI 02905, USA. Tel: +(401)274 1122 ext 48467; +1(215)687 3524 (mob); +1(401)863 3164 (lab); e-mail: lynae_brayboy@brown.edu

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