As a teen mom in New York City, I have seen ads that promote condom safety and depict young adults stating “my body my health” type messages. However, they are not anywhere as wide spread and flashy as the horrible anti-teenage pregnancy ads. In fact, I’ve only seen them twice while on the other hand I see the crying babies everyday, multiple times.
The type of ads that depict young people as decision makers of their lives, I feel are the best way to engage youth and give them a sense of empowerment about making safe decisions.
Depicting youth in ads making informed decisions works better than a crying baby. Why? Babies do not “talk” to teenagers, teenagers talk to teenagers. And the informational component is absolutely vital!
The one thing all of the ads miss is the accurate evidence call to action. What I mean by that is the ads might have the empowering theme or the shaming theme but they both lack in informing the people seeing the ads where to go to get information that can really inform and educate them.
You can’t just say make informed decisions, you need to provide information that is accurate so young people can make informed decisions because they have the information in the first place.
Moreover, I feel New York City needs a real comprehensive sex education mandate and not one that Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Walcott, and New York City’s Human Resources Administration (NYCHRA) like to say is in exsistence.
While the Bloomberg administration and NYCHRA like to say that sex education is one of the reasons for the drastic decline in teenage pregnancy in the city they can’t. They can not say that with any real certainty considering the mandate for comprehensive health education was just made in November 2011.
Measuring and qualifying the effect of such a mandate can not happen as quickly as they make it appear considering it hasn’t even been two full years since the mandate was put in place.
Over all New York City needs and can do a better job at informing youth accurately about matters of sexual health, sexuality, and relationships. We have the budget and the organizational and administrative people power to do so. What are we waiting for?