My Sex Doctor: The smartphone app aiming to revolutionise sex education
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A new app is hoping to answer the sex questions that everyone from teenagers to those in their mid-20s are too afraid to ask. My Sex Doctor is designed to address the full spectrum of issues concerning sex – from puberty to unhealthy relationships to sex itself, all the way to abortion, pregnancy and parenthood. Along the way it offers advice on sexual orientation, anal sex and HIV. With its aim being to address the difficult to broach issues, nothing is off limits. Founded by computer science graduate Fabrizio Dolfi, who also has an MBA from New York University, the app comes in two versions: My Sex Doctor Lite, aimed at those aged 13+, and My Sex Doctor, which caters for everyone up to the age of 25 and includes more detailed information on sex. Fabrizio had the idea for My Sex Doctor after reading an article on young people and STDs, which pointed out that many may be too embarrassed to go to the doctor and as a result often try to self medicate – making their problems worse. The piece also pointed out that boys have little real information about the facts surrounding STDs, while girls’ failure to get checked out may come from worries about being judged, being assumed to have a kinky sex life, and/or their parents finding out. Fabrizio says: “Probably the fact that I was reading that piece on my mobile helped me make the connection between the two things. I thought that many young people carry this powerful instrument with them every day, a number that is only going up; therefore mobile phones seemed to me the ideal platform to use. “Initially, I wanted to do something to help people with STDs, to find a way to bypass their hesitations and facilitate their access to consultation and treatments. “But the more I learnt about the subject the more I realised that trying to prevent infections in the first place was going to have a much bigger impact. That's when I start considering the idea of an educational app.” Traditional forms of sex education have failed, says Fabrizio – in fact, they are “grossly inadequate.” He says: “People are stuck discussing whether sex ed programmes say too little or too much and fail to realise that first, sex is everywhere - advertisements, TV shows, movies, music. “Second, that lack of adequate information about sex and sexuality has never stopped anyone from becoming sexually active and having a sex life... the unfortunate consequences of this approach are widespread and undeniable. “And third, that pornography, that thanks to widespread distribution of smartphone and tablets has never been easier to watch, is increasingly feeding the gap in people’s sex education, creating a distorted image in young people’s minds of what real sex and sexuality should be.” On the subject of parents discussing sex with their teenagers, Fabrizio believes that we need to be realistic. “I am totally pro parents discussing sex with their children,” he says.
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