Digital innovations have changed the way we learn. But an area where almost no impact is made is Sex Education. Sex Education is often considered as a stigmatized, enigmatic and convoluted topic. Teenagers are confused, skeptical and embarrassed to publicly voice their opinions and concerns. The existing resources are scattered and they often fail to provide accurate information.
Sex is a vital part of humanity, and sex education is a vital part of a well-rounded education. In this hour of need, our formal education systems are failing to keep up with the rapidly changing scenarios. In many countries around the world, open discussions about menstrual hygiene, sexual interactions, consent etc. are suppressed. This leads to misleading assumptions and lack of awareness. Youngsters, especially girls, find it difficult to share their experiences and express their concerns.
Growing up in a developing and socially conservative country like India, we ourselves, have faced these issues from time to time. Hence, we realize, how critical it is to receive sex education at the right age – correctly, clearly and comfortably. If at all, the information is provided, it is conveyed in a mundane and boring manner, often leading to frivolous discussions. At times, gender and cultural biases lead to unnecessary filtering of information.
We believe, the right awareness around these topics can positively impact the health and well being of youngsters while allowing them to make well-informed decisions. Taking inspiration from this, we decided to create ‘Be SexEd’ to make Sex Education interactive, fun and accessible. By gamifying sex education, the learners can actively pick up lessons of their interest covering a broad range of topics.
The key takeaways we had while building ‘Be Sex-Ed’ are listed below:
- Role of gamification in aiding learning process by making it more interactive and engaging
- Role of creative design elements like story boards, achievement badges, progress bars in enhaancing user engagement with the product
- Significance of a simple and user-friendly interface for users across regions with varying levels of technical skillset.
The web application also features a conversational chatbot which would answer questions of users preserving their anonymity. The user can create a profile to track their learning progress and set goals for learning. They can share their progress with their peers thus building a health community which shapes meaningful conversations around sex, safety, consent, health and well-being.
The major challenges we faced while tackling the problem were :
- Lack of available resources
- Verifying conflicting information from multiple sources
- Striking a balance between simplicity and effectiveness
- Abstracting information depending on age-groups
What's next for Be SexEd !
There are endless possibilities for ‘Be SexEd’ in terms of additional features and platforms. Women safety is a major area we would like to focus in. By utilizing location based data, women safety can be ensured. We'd like to extend our product to classrooms across schools in the country where students can actively engage in sex ed classes beating monotonous teaching methods. Features like support groups and generating awareness about events can be incorporated into our product.