A new web site produced by the Columbia/Williamette, Oregon Planned Parenthood affiliate features videos in which a middle-aged man “dressed something like Mr. Rogers” advises teens in the middle of suggested sex acts about sexually transmitted diseases. The site, which also presents songs with obscene lyrics, has been criticized for providing erroneous information, sexualizing young people, targeting very young “tweens,” and undermining the sanctity of sex.
The videos on the Columbia/Williamette Planned Parenthood’s web site “TakeCareDownThere.org,” variously show two teenage boys purportedly engaged in a deviant sex act, advise two other teens how to be tested for disease after intercourse and instruct how to use condoms. One of its videos features a song with a long list of slang terms for male and female genitalia set to music.
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, told Cybercast News Service that in one video the middle-aged man appears as a teenage boy and girl embrace and kiss.
“Guys, guys, it looks like it’s getting a little hot and heavy in here,” he says to them. “Before we take this to the next level we want to make sure that you know how to use a condom.”
Wright said that Planned Parenthood has developed a reputation for controversy with another of its websites, teenwire.com.
Marie Hahnenberg, a researcher with the American Life League, said “TakeCareDownThere.org” was another example of Planned Parenthood activities that “attempt to sexualize our young people.”
“It seems to make fun of sex, making it as some kind of game, as Planned Parenthood claims, when sex is something so sacred that it should only be between a married man and woman,” she stated.
Liz Delapoer, marketing director at the Columbia/Williamette Planned Parenthood, told Cybercast News Service that the new site was meant to be “fun” and “playful” and was designed to discuss with “the younger demographic” the topic of sexually transmitted diseases.
“We wanted to empower people to really take care of their own reproductive and sexual health,” Delapoer commented. “Through the Web site and the videos, we wanted to speak in a language that would be non-threatening to a younger demographic.
Katie Collins, a journalism scholar with the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute, said the site seems to be aimed at “tweens” or even younger demographics.
“This Web site was especially repulsive to me because it appeals first to very young teenagers, and contains scientifically inaccurate information but also because it denigrates sexual intimacy,” Collins explained.
She said one skit presents the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a major cause of cervical cancer in women, as something that can be combated by regular testing.
“For men especially, regular testing does not show threat information on human papillomavirus (HPV) or herpes,” she argued.