Date: July 17th, 2017
By: Yewande Olugbade
Harnessing the power of technology and social media, Crush—developed by Healthy Teen Network and MetaMedia—puts the power of comprehensive sexual education in the hands of teens and meets them where they are. With its use of varied interactive content such as whiteboard animations for describing sensitive topics like anatomy and physiology; negotiation dialogues for condom usage; comic stories for promoting decision making skills; and several videos about accessing birth control, Crush is a new addition to the mobile world that focuses on many more topics than just birth control.
Crush went through a rigorous randomized control trial and was tested by more than 1,200 young women (14-18 years-old) from all over the United States and Puerto Rico. (See Map Below).
The majority of our participants were 16-years old; 64% Caucasian, 12% African American, and 20% Hispanic/Latino. Though testing is just wrapping up, here are four things we’ve learned so far from our baseline results.
- 31% of our sample reported ever having sex which is comparable to the recent data from the YBRSS that reported that 41.2% of high school student reported of ever having sex.
- Condoms still remain the number one method of contraceptive among youth, with 79% of youth reporting that they will most likely use this method if they were to have sex in the next three months. Only 3% reported that they will most likely use LARC as a contraceptive method.
- The average number of partners reported by our sample is one, with a reported rage of one to five.
- The majority of teens had their first sexual encounter at the age of 15.
LARC uptake among youth still faces an uphill battle as many youth have read several negative messages online about LARCs. From our study, the majority of our sample thinks the use of LARCs causes infertility, among many other things. Positive messaging about LARCs not only reinforces its advantages, but it also promotes its use among young people.
With the use of several videos, the Crush app provides young girls with the information they need to make better decisions about contraception and advocating for their reproductive health.
Look out for more exciting news concerning Crush and its launch into the market in the fall!
About the Author
Healthy Teen Network Research Associate Yewande Olugbade, MPH, has experience supporting the research and evaluation of adolescent health education programs and working with diverse communities. Her focus has been in implementing mHealth programs aimed at reducing teen pregnancy and STIs among African American and Latino adolescent women.