The internet offers infinite information at your fingertips. For teenagers, that also means turning to the internet for all their questions about sex.

Several YouTubers, dubbed as “sexperts,” want to provide young people with accurate information and a place for them to feel safe asking questions about sex. Laci Green, who has 1.5 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, was named one of Time’s The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2016.

Some of Green’s recent videos include “How To Help Her Orgasm,” “Is Porn Addictive?” and “The Truth About Herpes!

Green also went to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia during July, where she spoke with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) about a bill he introduced that would provide young people with “comprehensive” and “science-based” information about sex, according to Booker’s website.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only 24 states and the District of Columbia require public schools to teach sex education. If sex education is provided, only 20 states require that the information students receive is medically accurate. A majority of states also allow parents to opt out of sex-ed for their children.

“If you’re going to teach something, you might as well teach the facts,” said sophomore computer science major Elijah Chanakira.

“It’s sad that [kids] have to go to the internet because parents are scared to talk about sex,” said sophomore letters and sciences major Alina Zaidi.

Another YouTube star Hannah Witton takes a more casual approach to sex-ed, creating drunken Q&A videos that answer her subscriber’s questions about sex, relationships and feminism. Not all her videos are about sex, but she does talk about it as casually as she talks about her Harry Potter obsession.

One of her recent videos detailed the lack of knowledge people have about sex and their own bodies. Witton read tweets from her followers about what they wish they were taught about sexual health, including how to put on a condom, masturbation is healthy and how men should check their testicles for testicular cancer.

Chanakira said he never learned the difference between an STI and an STD in his high school health class. The internet is a good source of information about sex, but people should be cautious about getting all their information from YouTube, Chanakira said.

“If you look something up on YouTube, there is going to be some bias,” Chanakira said. “If you look up something on google and it’s an actual article you know has been looked at by a bunch of editors, that’s a little more reliable than a single YouTuber.”

“It’s okay as long as [YouTubers] aren’t giving false information,” Zaidi said.

YouTube is not the only platform for internet stars to spread the word about sex. Eileen Kelly runs a blog and forum called Birds&Bees that provides subscribers a place to ask others questions they have about sex, general health, and just about everything else.

Kelly is most famous for her Instagram account, @killerandasweetthang, where she often posts pictures of herself nearly nude or posing promiscuously. Kelly said in a recent Cosmopolitan article that she was always interested in sex-ed and wants to promote body-positivity through her Instagram.

However, some people believe her photos may be sending the wrong message to young teens, according to an article in the New York Post.

Vietmy Tran, a senior kinesiology major, said internet personas openly discussing sex helps reduce the stigma surrounding it.

Tran said her high school’s sex-ed program was “minimal” and “stressed abstinence,” which is not realistic and can put a lot of pressure and shame on students.

“Schools should be be open and honest about sex, but they don’t always provide relevant information,” Tran said.

Zaidi said sex-ed programs across the nation need to improve.

“We need to be more honest in our schools about different birth controls out there,” Zaidi said.

In the meantime, young teenagers will continue to flock to the internet for their questions about sex.

“Where else are you going to find that information?” said Chanakira. “The internet’s honestly the easiest place to go to.”

Chanakira said he recommends students going to the internet if they aren’t receiving useful factual information from their school. “Safe sex is good sex,” he said.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Corey Leopold’s Flickr account.

Rosie Kean is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at vrosekean@gmail.com

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