Let's Talk About Sex

LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX is a short documentary featuring the voices of students from both Castlemont High School and Fremont High School in East Oakland. They share their perspectives and insights on sex education, what's worked and what hasn't, and what they need from sex educators. Featuring interviews with four Latina teens, the documentary examines each of their individual experiences with reproductive health education and services. The film goes on to explore the benefits of on-campus health care (through the success of Tiger Clinic at Fremont High), and the importance of developing trust and kinship between educators and students. 


We hope this film will allow Latino/a youth to have their voices heard, open up the lines of communication between students and educators and allow for more mutual understanding, and enable sex educators to use assets-based approaches. 


Discussion Guide*

The purpose of this guide is to encourage relationships between students and educators and highlight the important role that sex educators play in the context of teenagers' adolescent lives.


  • The role of sexuality in adolescents' lives.
    What teens need from educators and sex education.
    How to best get resources to adolescents.


1. What stood out the most for you in the film?

2. Maria says "I don't really talk to my parents about sex." What are some of the reasons the girls share for not feeling comfortable talking to their parents about sex?

3. In the section of the film on stereotypes, Kimberly says that she's heard people say that "having a lot of children is our tradition. It's not true." What other stereotypes of Latinas are you familiar with?

4. What are the resources offered by Tiger Clinic?

5. How does Tiger Clinic make itself open to all students?

6. At the end of the film, students share what they want from educators to feel supported. What were some of their examples?

Discussion Questions

1. What role do teachers play in contributing to the knowledge of teenagers on 
sex, sexuality and relationships?

2. How do educators best support the youth?

3. Subjective beliefs and biases are often inadvertently included in discussions on sex and sexuality. How does this affect sex education?

4. What are the benefits of having reproductive health services offered on campus?

5. What's the impact of not being able to access sexual health care?

6. Drawing from your own observations and experiences, what do you think ismissing from sex education?

Engagement Questions

1. How do we fill the gaps of the curriculum in our classrooms?

2. How do we institutionalize kinship?

3. How do we provide resources to our community?

4. How do we address stereotypes in our work?


Partner Organization

Tiger Clinic at Fremont Federation of Small Schools

Tiger Clinic is a school based health center funded and sponsored by La Clinica de la Raza, whose mission statement is to create healthy communities that can nurture healthy individuals. To improve children and adolescents' health, well-being, and success in school, La Clínica provides health care and educational services at five school-based health centers located in at-risk areas of Oakland and San Lorenzo. Tiger Clinic is a fully operating medical clinic that can provide all the services of a basic doctor's office. There is also a psychologist and a health educator on site for students to talk to.


Facts and Resources


1. School-Based Health Centers increase access to health care, and users of SBHCs are likely to use primary care (medical and behavioral health) more consistently.

2. SBHCs increase access to reproductive preventative care, and can reduce the unplanned pregnancy rates among adolescents.

3. There are 183 SBHCs in California today, and about 40 in the works. Of these 183, 59% offer reproductive health screening and education, and 47% offer reproductive health clinical care.

4. Studies consistently show that Latinos receive less preventive care than non-Latinos, most often because it is not be an immediate priority for individuals worrying about how to meet the basic survival needs of their families.

5. Latinos have less access to health education, health care, or culturally and linguistically competent health care providers than do whites or African Americans.

6. Youth of color experience higher rates of medical indigence than do white youth, and they more often confront financial, cultural, and institutional barriers in obtaining health care.

7. For many youth of color, publicly funded health insurance provides limited access to comprehensive, adolescent-appropriate health services.

8. Culturally relevant pedagogy has proven to increase the amount of students who graduate from high school and attend college. Currently Latino high school dropout rates nationwide hover around 56 percent Roughly 24 percent of graduating Latinos go on to college. Tucson Unified School District's Ethnic Studies and Mexican American Studies programs have reversed the bad trends. The dropout rate in this program is 2.5 percent, as opposed to 56 percent nationally. Students in the program significantly outperform their peers on the state's standardized AIMS tests.

9. For youth of color who are first and second generation Americans, acculturation-the degree to which they assimilate the values, beliefs, and behaviors of the host culture-is a major factor in health care decisions and use of preventive services. These young people may face language barriers and fear meeting with cultural insensitivity. When youth and providers speak different languages, or rely on a different idiom for the same language, misunderstandings occur, and youth can be made to feel that the misunderstanding is their fault, thus creating a serious emotional barrier to youth's continued use of health care services.

10. Communication about health and sexuality often differs by ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and sexual orientation. Communication patterns can form serious obstacles to care. Patterns of speech that presuppose that all youth are heterosexual, share a cultural background, or operate from a single gender role perspective, create instantaneous barriers to care for many young people.


Augustine, Jennifer. "Youth of Color - At Disproportionate Risk of Negative Sexual Health Outcomes." Advocatesforyouth.org. Advocates for Youth, Aug. 2010. Web. 

Cruz, Roman, and Carolina Godinez. "Latino Adolescents and HIV/AIDS."Advocatesforyouth.org. Advocates for Youth, Jan. 2004. Web. 

Moss, Tamarah. "Barriers to Health Care for Youth of Color." Advocatesforyouth.org. Advocates for Youth, Jan. 2004. Web. 

Saveethnicstudies.org. Save Ethnic Studies. Web. 

Schoolhealthcenters.org. California School Health Centers Association. Web. 



La clinica

Tiger clinic - SHC

CARDEA - Training for educators

Planned Parenthood


Meet the filmmakers


MAHN HAKCHAREUM is a filmmaker who was raised in Richmond CA. The passion and love for creating stories and compelling visuals was developed during his teenage years. Manh has been involved in filmmaking ever since and strives to become better in his craft. He has worked on various feature films, short films, documentaries, and TV Shows. He graduated from San Francisco State University, where he enhanced his creative abilities and honed his skills as an editor and director of photography.


NISSA POULSEN is a queer, multi-racial filmmaker and artist who uses filmmaking as a means to explore and interpret the world around her. She has always been drawn to the arts for their ability to convey and evoke the inexpressible, and finds an important outlet in them. She has worked in the art department for multiple films shot around the Bay Area, and graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Cinema in 2012.


NATALIE TETTER At San Francisco State University, Natalie studied Cinema and Ethnic Studies. She is studying how to use filmmaking as a tool for activism and a force of social change. In addition to working on LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX, Natalie is directing and producing a short film on Freshman Prep Academy at Castlemont High School in East Oakland. She is a part of a project called the Eyes On Arizona Collective who works to provide political education, encourage civic engagement and develop leadership skills in the struggle for immigrant justice.


    With ITATIAIA DANIEL 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