Today CNN covered an opinion piece from Laura Sessions Stepp, a Pulitzer Prize journalist and former Washington Post reporter, on young adults and contraception. The Ad Council has accepted a proposal from The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy to run a series of ads targeting adults in their 20’s to use birth control. The campaign, called Bedsider.org, was created as a support network for women and includes PSA’s, a YouTube channel, and website. The website shows the less serious side to sex, while at the same time answering questions about contraception and the best method for the user. Videos use humor to promote annual doctor visits, birth control effectiveness, and set the record straight on recent news reports. An example of a short video that dispels misinformation about IUDs can be found at:
A study by the Guttmacher Institute surveying 1,800 unmarried men and women between the ages of 18-29 found that only 50% use birth control carefully and consistently. Using a weighted representative sample through telephone interviews (both landline and cell phone), the researchers also found that 31% of the women surveyed say they have had an unintended pregnancy. You can find more information about the study’s method and results here: http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/fogzone/PDF/FogZone.pdf.
With results like these, using mass communication and social media to promote birth control use may help 20-somethings feel more comfortable about talking to their doctor and accessing care.