SEX AS WE KNOW IT is a short documentary film that examines the lives of six teenagers ages 13-18 participating in a peer-to-peer sex education program. Latinos en Extasis, based out of the Mission Neighborhood Health Clinic (MNHC) in San Francisco, CA aims to reach youth programs and middle and high schools through out the city about the prevention and awareness of HIV, STIs and pregnancy through interactive workshops. Spoken through the voice of the peer educators, the film explores topics such as the their own experiences with sexual health and education and talking with their parents about sex. The Peer Outreach Educators use modern education methods to bring forward a new age in reproductive health knowledge and its role in the lives of the youth generation.
By hearing and seeing youth having intuitive and engaging dialogue about sex we hope to empower the youth watching to reach out and seek information on HIV, STIs and preventing unplanned pregnancy.
The purpose of this discussion guide is to provide an accessible resource and learning tool for opening up the conversation about sexual health and its purpose.
- Awareness of ones own sexual health
- Alternative sex education methods
- Talking with parents about sex
- Being comfortable with attaining knowledge about reproductive health
- Who in the film stood out to you the most and why?
- What are some of the methods used by Latinos en Extasis to teach youth about sex?
- Who are they reaching out to specifically and what is the importance of reaching out to that demographic?
- At the beginning of the film Collie says the "The hardest part (about teaching youth) is clearing up myths." What were some of those myths that the peer educators stated? Were any of them surprising?
- What do you feel was the most important benefit of a peer educations system that you saw in the film?
- Liliana says, "They [my parents] don't really open to the idea of young people taking in knowledge about sex. They thought it would encourage youth to have sex." What are some the challenges teens face when talking to their parents about sex?
- Angelica says when you tell a teenager "You can't do this you can't do this, they are going to rebel and do it any way." What thoughts did her statement bring up? What was the main point that she was trying to get across and do you think she is correct?
- What are your own experiences talking about sex with your peers? Parents?
- Throughout the film the peer educators talked about speaking with their parents about being a sex education program. If you were in their place how would you approach your parents? What would you say?
Latino en Extasis is a peer-led reproductive health education program in correspondence with The Mission Neighborhood Health Clinic located at 240 Shotwell St. in the Mission District of San Francisco. Latino en Extasis provides interactive workshops to after-school youth programs through out San Francisco. Their main focus is the Latino community and teaching the youth about all aspects of reproductive health. Their objective is "the prevention of HIV, STIs, and pregnancy." Peer educators ages 13-18 go through weeks of training to prepare themselves for the presentations. With each after-school program they construct a four-week program that covers three topics: anatomy, contraceptives, STIs/HIV and culminates in a comprehensive jeopardy game. The Peer Outreach Educators are all volunteers that earn a stipend. The youth team is lead by Daniel Martinez (formerly Liliana Cabrera who stepped down halfway through production).
1. "Research finds that Hispanic households were more likely to not have medical insurance or receive regular medical care, and to have an income less than 200% of the federal poverty level."
Resource: A Comparison of Hispanic and White Adolescent Females' Use of Family Planning Services in California M. Rosa Solario, Hongjian Yu, E. Richard Brown, Lida Becerra, Lillian Gelberg Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health (2004) 36:157 161
2. There is a "tendency in sex education classes to limit all the elements of sexuality to the act of sex, creating a negative attitude toward sex as harmful"
Resource: Culture, Sexuality, and School: Perspectives from Focus Groups in Six Different Cultural Communities Jill McLean Taylor and Janie Victoria Ward Women's Studies Quarterly (1991) 19:121-137
3. Medicaid family planning waivers reduced teen pregnancy rates, while abstinence-only education programs increased teen pregnancy rates among white and black teens, but not Hispanics.
Resource: Reasons for and Challenges of Recent Increases in Teen Birth Rates: A Study of Family Planning Service Policies and Demographic Changes at the State Level Zhou Yang, Laura M. Gaydos Journal of Adolescent Health (2010) 46:517-524
4. The main reasons that teens get pregnant are due to poverty, poor quality family relationships, lack of education, low-self esteem, negative outlook regarding the future, and non-voluntary sexual experiences.
Resource: Pregnant Teens By Kent Pinkerton http://ezinearticles.com/?Pregnant Teens&id=409967
5. The construct of a family seems to impact the discussion of sexual health in the home.
Resource: Parent-Adolescent Communication About Sex: Retrospective Reports by Latino College Students
6. Research shows speaking Spanish in the home has a positive correlation with teen pregnancy and higher levels of education have a negative correlation with Latina teen pregnancy.
Resource: Sociocultural Determinants of Teenage Childbearing Among Latinas in California Christine Dehlendorf, Kristen Marchi, Eric Vittinghoff, Paul Braveman Journal of Maternal and Child Health (2010) 14:194-201
7. Curriculum involving sex education is changing where there is a more interactive relationship between the material and student. New York City Will Mandate Sex Education By FERNANDA SANTOS and ANNA M. PHILLIPS
8. A recent poll concluded that 74 percent of parents with children ages 10-18 are comfortable enough to talk to their children about how to say no to sex."
Resource: "New poll shows Latino parents still hesitant to have "THE sex talk" with their kids"
9. Among surprising findings: fathers are taking almost as active a role in these conversations as mothers. As talking about sexuality is generally considered the mother's job in our culture, this news is very encouraging -- fathers can and should take an active role in educating kids. The poll shows, as many in our community can attest, that most parents believe their own mothers and fathers didn't do such a great job talking to them about sex.
Resource: "Let's talk to our Kids about sex"
10. Knowledge and education is key for teens to know how their body works and what they need to do to take care of it.
Resource: Teen Pregnancy Among Chicanas/Mexican-Americans: A Resource For Researchers and Scholars By Lisa M. Lapeyrouse
ERICA DJAFROODI a graduate of the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University focusing on digital film production and documentary filmmaking. Her passion for documentary film started her freshman year in college where she worked as an editor producing short documentaries at a non-profit organization benefiting foster children and high needs families. Upon graduation, she plans to continue pursuing her passion for filmmaking in Southern California.
DANIEL EVERIST, an SFSU Cinema Studies graduate was born and raised in California. A passion for DIY filmmaking lead Daniel to a degree in the field after many short documentary, narrative and experimental films were woven together. Though Daniel enjoys all aspects of filmmaking the pinnacle of his fascination lies in editing, and the manipulation of narrative.
MATTHEW FERNANDEZ earned his BA in Cinema at San Francisco State in May 2012. He has always had a fascination with the documentary genre for its intimate and engaging view of the world around us. After a brief stint pursuing a Statistics degree at SFSU he decided to pursue his true passion for filmmaking. This love came from watching movies and his appreciation for every aspect of filmmaking process. He hopes to one day to become a professional Cinematographer.
TIM FINN is an inspiring filmmaker, who has worked and continues to work on a range of films for the enjoyment of others. He mainly focused on making narrative films as producer and assistant director but decided to work on documentary for once. His first documentary film, "Wherever There's a Ramp" a film about a comedian in a wheelchair gave him the urge to move more towards documentary filmmaking. His latest documentary film "Sex as We'll Know It" was his first challenge with social issues dealing with Latino youth as educators and talking to their peers about sex. As an Alumni of San Francisco State University Tim feels he shouldn't stop here with documentary films but to continue making documentaries and share the stories they come with.
With Juli Tambellini as a principal researcher
*The information on these pages is provided by the student film makers and does not represent an endorsement or verification of statements from the Health Equity Institute