Crush Is Sex Ed for Real Life

Date: May 31st, 2018

Healthy Teen Network

We are thrilled to announce the immediate availability of a new digital tool: Crush (in English and Spanish: and Healthy Teen Network partnered with MetaMedia Training International, Inc. to develop the first and only smartphone-based digital tool proven effective at increasing young women’s sense of control to make decisions regarding their sexual behavior.

Crush shares sexual health information with adolescent women—anywhere, anytime. It is an innovative digital tool that empowers adolescent women by sharing on-demand access to comprehensive, medically accurate sexual health information.

Crush uses interactive, multimedia features to enhance engagement and support diverse learning styles. Crush offers culturally and age appropriate text, animation, video, quizzes, interactive graphics, and calendar and clinic locator tools to educate users about birth control, healthy relationships, sexual health and anatomy, pregnancy, and clinical services.

When Crush is paired with CrushTEXT (a series of multimedia texts that invites users to engage with Crush), it is proven effective at laying the groundwork of sexual health empowerment even before users start thinking about having sex.

These findings are based on a 2017 randomized controlled trial with 1,210 women, ages 14 to 18, recruited from across the United States:

  1. Young women who use Crush and CrushTEXT are more likely to use health clinics for sexual and reproductive health services.
  2. Young women who use Crush and CrushTEXT are more likely to feel confident in using health clinics for sexual and reproductive health services.
  3. Crush increases users’ positive attitudes toward using birth control, every time.
  4. Young women who use Crush and CrushTEXT are more likely to feel in control of using birth control, every time.
  5. Young women who use Crush and CrushTEXT are more knowledgeable about IUDs and implants.

Read more about these findings in the Crush research brief.

Together, Crush and CrushTEXT impacts users’ intentions and skills to engage in healthy behaviors.
Photo of Genevieve Martínez García, PhD,

Genevieve Martínez García, PhD

Genevieve Martínez García, PhD, Healthy Teen Network Director of Innovation and Research, who led the development and testing of Crush, explains:

“Crush is sex ed for real life. It is designed for today’s generation of adolescent women who may or may not be sexually active and need quick and convenient access to sexual health information. By covering a range of topics, Crush helps young women avoid the clutter of inaccurate or incomplete information they may find online.

One Crush user shared:

“I find it very helpful and informative. My school has a decent sex ed program, but nobody ever told me anything about birth control options, especially where and how to get them. Thank you for putting together a [tool]with all the information.”

Crush is now open and available for anyone, anytime, to access sex-positive information, in English and Spanish.

More information on CrushTEXT and how you can use the evidence-based program in your communities and schools is coming soon! 

Want to spread the word now and let your youth know they can start using Crush today? We’ve got a two-page fact sheet for professional audiences and a social media kit to make it easy to share. Get these materials and more on our Crush site for professionals.

We would like to thank the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for funding the development and rigorous evaluation of Crush, and the young people of City Neighbors High School and CASA Maryland in Baltimore who informed the development of Crush from concept to final product, and participated in the production of its content.
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About the Author

Healthy Teen Network envisions a world where all adolescents and young adults lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Founded in 1979, we promote better outcomes for adolescents and young adults by advancing social change, cultivating innovation, and strengthening youth-supporting professionals and organizations. We serve as a leading national membership organization (501c3) for adolescent health professionals and organizations, promoting a unique and holistic perspective—we call it Youth 360°—to improve the health and well-being of young people.

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