PRESS RELEASE: New, Proven Effective Digital Tool Now Available to Empower Young Women

Date: May 31st, 2018

Crush Shares Sexual Health Information with Adolescent Women—Anywhere, Anytime

For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Baltimore, MD—Healthy Teen Network, with partner MetaMedia Training International, Inc., announced the release of Crush, available in English and Spanish, 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 (see also, a two-page fact sheet).

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 (read more in the research brief) 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.

Together, Crush and CrushTEXT impacts users’ intentions and skills to engage in healthy behaviors. Crush is grounded in health behavior change theories.

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 communities and schools can use the evidence-based program with their youth is coming soon. Find out more about Crush research findings and how to share the news on the Crush website for professionals.

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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.

Contact: Gina Desiderio, Healthy Teen Network: 443-216-1360

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