Only 24 states in the US mandate sex education. That means more than half of this country has no information about STDs, pregnancy, condoms, contraception and how to have healthy conversations about sex and sexuality. Even worse, only 13 states require that sex ed instruction be medically accurate. That's pretty disturbing.
And Brianna Rader, founder of Juicebox, the first and only mobile resource of its kind for sex education, seems to have thought so, too.
In a press release, Rader describes the experience she had with sex ed in Tennessee, where she's from, that inspired her to take action against this country's failure to teach young people about safe sex. She writes:
"It's illegal to teach comprehensive sex education [in Tennessee]. They only teach abstinence education in the public schools. I stayed there to attend the University of Tennessee for college, and I realized that all of my peers had had the same education that I did. When you combine that type of education with many of the elements of college -- namely alcohol and the freedom of being away from home -- it's a disaster. You have problems like STDs and sexual assault. Even worse, the university didn't provide any type of outreach program."
Juicebox was her solution. It's an anonymous mobile app that allows users to informally engage with topics like relationships, sexuality and gender. Her goal was to ease the tension around potentially awkward sex ed conversations by creating a "comfortable, silly and casual" forum. And she totally nailed it.
The app has two main sections: "Snoop" and "Spill." Snoop is where users can anonymously ask sexperts any questions. The sexperts are all sexual health educators. Some are pursuing a doctorate in human sexuality; others are sex therapists and educators who have been certified by the American Society of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (ASSECT), a national sexual health professional organization.
The best part is that you can snoop through questions that have already been asked by other users, so if you're too embarrassed to ask something, someone else has probably got it covered.
No more panicked "CAN I GET PREGNANT FROM PRECUM" Google searches, you guys.
Spill is where users can tell their embarrassing or funny sex-related stories, and people can upvote or downvote them as a sort of reaction. An upvote is a condom that expands in size when clicked, which is honestly hilarious.
And you can store any questions or stories in your "Stash" to read again later.
My personal favorite part about this app, besides the really casual way the information is presented, is the whole fruit theme that creates a light-heartedly sexual atmosphere. You seriously can't deny that a peach looks like a butt or a banana looks like a dick. It's just perfect.
Rader says Juicebox is catered towards teenagers and Millennials (since we're always on our goddamn phones), but it is really open to anyone who wants to learn more about sex. It will be released in the app store on April 7, so prepare your questions for the sexperts now. And feel free to throw an eggplant emoji in your question, too.