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|Hayley Matthews • 5/13/16|
The 411: Since 2006, StayTeen.org has been the #1 site for teens, encouraging them to enjoy their youth and make life’s biggest choices, like when to have sex, when they’re absolutely ready, and with a revamped look, they’re doing that better than ever.
When teens want somewhere to go to learn about sex, pregnancy, relationships and the like, they don’t really go to government websites. They want a place of their own, which is exactly why StayTeen.org was formed.
For the past nine years, Stay Teen has been the go-to resource for teens, a special spot on the Internet just for them where they can get information that deals with the issues they care about the most without making them feel ashamed or embarrassed.
Today, Stay Teen is debuting a brand new look and some brand new features, with a major focus being quality content.
“We’re really excited about it because we’ve learned so much about what our audience needs and wants, and we’ve particularly put an emphasis on community,” said Jessica Sheets Pika, director of communications. “We know teenagers love to talk about this stuff, but in a place that’s safe and non-judgmental, so we made a real effort on focusing on allowing teens to comment on creating a space where they can ask a lot of questions and see answers.”
Stay Teen’s users range in ages from 13 to 17, but the site adapts its articles depending on the age level and situation. In keeping with this theme, Stay Teen will provide more content that’s written by teens, including topics like avoiding pregnancy until you’re ready, developing healthy relationships, dealing with breakups and more.
“All of those issues that deal with sex, relationships, dating and anything under that giant umbrella is really what we talk about, and we try to focus on doing it in a way that is very teen-friendly,” Sheets Pika said.
We spoke with Sheets Pika to get more details about what the new site entails, as well as the successful resources Stay Teen continues to offer.
While Stay Teen’s most popular article is “Can I Get Pregnant If…?” the new site will cover an even wider range of topics, such as the dangers of unprotected sex, how to choose the best type of birth control for you and how to discuss those issues with your doctor.
“That article has really shown us that our target is exploring sex and their sexuality, and they’re not sure what the consequences are with this behavior,” Sheets Pika said.
But not everything is changing.
Stay Teen still has some great features that have always been very helpful to its audience, including their Health Center Finder that helps teens locate physicians nearby and the Method Explorer that allows teens to learn about different forms of birth control and which one might work best for them.
“We think this is really useful to teens because a lot of the time, they don’t want their parents to know they’re getting birth control, so they are trying to figure out a place they can go that’s low-cost, non-judgmental and some place they can walk or bus to,” she said. “Our goal is to put teens in the driver’s seat with educating themselves on different types of methods. Our message is we want you to enjoy your teen years and delay sex until you’re actually ready, which may mean when you’re older.”
From useful services to fun games to collaborative events, like the 14th Annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy that encourages people to think about how an unplanned pregnancy would change their lives, teens and parents alike are provided with a lot of good information thanks to Stay Teen.
“Teens are learning about things that they didn’t otherwise learn about, and even more importantly, they are talking about the site with their friends, with their boyfriends and, believe it or not, with their parents,” Sheets Pika said. “Our goal is to have more open and honest conversations among teens and parents.”
To see Stay Teen’s new site and learn more about the awesome things they do, visit stayteen.org.
Photos: Copyright The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.