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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Sept. 15, 2014

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Get the sex facts.
Get the sex facts.

Milwaukee nails it with sex myths campaign

The old "birds and bees" conversations, while productive, aren't – in many homes – what they used to be. At least that's my perception.  And, since the world is changing quicker than ever new ways of communicating the oldest "habits" need to be created and delivered. 

So, United Way of Greater Milwaukee, in collaboration with Serve Marketing, has launched a provocative new campaign that sends a strong message to parents of teen and pre-teen children – if you’re not talking to teens about sex, someone else is.

And, as national media have already noticed, it's very impressive and "awesome."

The campaign, titled "Who’s Teaching Your Child about Sex?" is designed to start that conversation between parents and youth about sex and the many myths surrounding teen pregnancy. It features kids proliferating many sex myths, and depicts them spreading throughout a school without any attempt to debunk or call into question the validity of the myths.

"The campaign is a wake-up call to parents, urging them to take control of the conversation," explains Nicole Angresano, Vice President of Community Impact for United Way of Greater Milwaukee.

"Though it may seem hard to believe, and even silly, these myths are out there and young people believe many of them. We want to make sure our youth are getting accurate information and we know parents are the best source for that. Parents should be their children’s first and primary health educators, and we want to give them tools that will help them answer tough questions."

The video, syndicated on YouTube, also has an interactive quiz for teens and parents.  A Web site, getthesexfacts.com, pulls all the campaign elements together.

"The average teen spends more than five hours a day online and the kind of misinformation they’re getting about sex is frightening," notes Serve Creative Director, Gary Mueller. "We wanted to use social media to combat these myths because that’s where the conversations are happening. And at the same time we want to open the eyes of parents to what their kids are learning online."

Mueller and Angresano are hoping teens and parents alike will share the content with their networks to create greater awareness of the importance of these types of conversations.

Other elements of the campaign, including bus shelter ads and television spots will roll out throughout October.

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