Teens and adolescents could be turning to TikTookay to study intercourse when their typical intercourse education isn’t ample. But the movies on the platform aren’t screened for misinformation and don’t give teenagers methods to ask further questions, notes a brand new evaluation.
Sex education supplied in faculties in the United States is normally insufficient — most states don’t require children to be taught about matters like contraception, consent, and gender variety. Information about intercourse, although, is spreading on TikTookay, which has thousands and thousands of adolescent and teenage customers.
To consider the intercourse education data on TikTookay, one creator of a brand new research created an account as a 15-year-old, downloaded 100 movies underneath the #sexeducation and #healthclass hashtags, and categorized them. Over half both targeted on female and male anatomy or on sexual pleasure, with most focusing on feminine anatomy and feminine sexual pleasure. Thirteen p.c talked about contraception, and solely 5 of the pattern coated different facets of sexual well being — like protected intercourse, consent, and how you can navigate well being care.
The quantity of content material on feminine sexual anatomy and pleasure on TikTookay shows one space traditional intercourse education isn’t efficient, the research authors observe in their evaluation. If teenagers wish to TikTookay for data on these matters, it’d imply they’re not getting it elsewhere.
Having a spot to privately see data that may reply questions on intercourse could possibly be useful. However, adolescents wanting by means of these movies don’t have a transparent or straightforward option to get further data if they’ve extra questions, the authors mentioned. They additionally could not have a straightforward or clear option to decide if a video contains misinformation. Some well being care professionals make movies and reply questions on TikTookay, however there are such a lot of movies that it’s troublesome to maintain up with all of them.
“The ever-growing quantity of content available on TikTok makes responding to all misinformation impractical, and there is no guarantee a user will ever encounter these corrective videos,” the authors wrote. Other research present that unhealthy details about different areas of well being, like COVID-19 and prostate most cancers, has unfold on the platform.
Considering the scale of the platform — TikTookay lately eclipsed a billion month-to-month customers worldwide — specialists ought to conduct extra analysis evaluating the accuracy of intercourse education data introduced on it, the research concluded. That advice is in line with a lately proposed analysis agenda for TikTookay, which included a name for researchers to review the medical recommendation given on the platform.
In the meantime, medical doctors ought to ask sufferers about their social media use and will use that as a jumping-off level to reply questions or clear up any misinformation. “Providers have a critical role to play in anticipating common myths and misunderstandings and providing correct information about sexual health topics,” the authors wrote.