Teen pregnancy is a social issue that we as parents hope to personally help combat as our children grow. An app from a national agency whose goal is to help prevent teen pregnancy claims to do so. But does it help or hurt?
Many parents are horrified by the app and all it claims to do.
A new app called, of all things, BootyLog, markets itself as a digital black book where users can anonymously document sexual encounters, the types of birth control they used, and also allows them to rate their experiences as well as microblog about their hookups. This sounds like an app that is targeted toward adults, right? Not so fast. It turns out that this app is funded by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. So, it’s targeted toward… teens. What?
Jenna, mom of two, felt that the app was an extremely bad idea. “I’m horrified at this, both as a parent of two girls and as a 20-something-year-old woman,” she explained.
Straight from the horse’s mouth
“By getting people to talk about sex — the good, the bad and the embarrassing — we think BootyLog will ultimately empower people to make healthier choices about sex and preventing unplanned pregnancies,” said Lawrence Swiader, senior director of Digital Media for The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “BootyLog shows that sex can be fun and responsible.”
Prevent teen pregnancy?
Many moms we spoke with were dumbfounded that the app is funded by an organization that has a goal of reducing teen pregnancy in the United States by one third between 2006 and 2015. Is an app called BootyLog a way to do it?
Rachael, pregnant with her third child, spoke from experience. “As I was a teen mother (to two children) I can confidently say, that app would not help me not get pregnant,” she shared. “Bragging about sexual encounters and reading others brag is more like[ly] to promote risky sex than prevent it. Stick to the old-fashioned way of actually keeping communication lines open with your children.”
The app name itself is not something that you’d like to see on your child’s phone. “The fact that it’s called BootyLog is enough to put me — and I hope, most, other parents — off,” said Rachael. And Emily from Canada, only half-joking, exclaimed, “If I found out my kid was using an app called ‘BootyLog’ I would be smashing heads. This is not the right way to go about teaching safe sex.”
Others thought that the app would be a way to capture information that could be used in the wrong way — for example, someone making a profile and scoping out stories from teens. “It seems like a pedophile’s delight, or a sick, sick person getting their jollies off reading stories,” explained Amy, mom of two.
Overall, the parents we spoke with could not believe that an app like this was funded by an organization committed to preventing teen pregnancy, and most felt that it would have the total opposite effect. So, moms and dads, now you know what to look for if you check out your teen’s downloaded apps.