Australian Comedians Use Dirty Jokes To Teach About Sexual Health
Sexual health is something no one ever wants to talk about. You can't blame them, really. Who wants to think about all the things that can happen to a person just because they have sex?
Unfortunately, sexual health is a subject that really needs our attention. Not just if we're not a monogamist, but also – and probably most importantly – because if you live in the United States of America, and you're between the ages of 18 and 30, you were most likely lied to about sexual health by your teachers, your parents, your healthcare professionals.
Before you get angry with them, though, understand that they didn't do it maliciously. The did it to “protect” you. They thought that lying to kids about sexual health information, and making sex seem scary would keep kids from making any rash decisions about sex before they were old enough to understand what they were doing. Some people still feel that way, and so sex ed in schools generally resembles a history lesson on the Holocaust, with frightening images of genital warts, scary statistics about syphilis before there was a cure, and even more worrisome facts about HIV.
That's a scary thought, isn't it? That someone you trust would lie to you about something as important as your health to keep you from hurting yourself instead of just giving you the facts and allowing you to make your own decisions. The ever elusive “they” firmly believes that if they tell the truth, kids will just brush it off. They definitely won't take an interest.
So what would it take to get you interested in your sexual health?
Family Planning Queensland, in Australia, thinks they've found the magic pill. They're teaching sexual health with dirty jokes.
It's a new sexual health project aimed at young men, and they're hoping that it will go viral. Eleven comedians from Brisbane are creating humorous videos about sexual health using dirty jokes to garner attention and get their point across. And it's backed by a study done by Queensland University of Technology researcher Professor Allen McKee.
“Sexual health information is traditionally presented in ways your mother would approve of - and young men simply don't respond to that,” Professor McKee said. “But they are online and they are responsive to dirty jokes.”
“This project is about testing new ways to make sexual health personal by putting some context around it,” McKee went on. “It's about taking sexual health out of the laboratory and making it a part of our everyday lives.”
Man, if this was around when I started my career, researching sexual health would have been so much more fun.
What do you think? Would you be more interested in sexual health if it came to you in the form of comedy? Or do you think this will ultimately downplay the seriousness of the subject?