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This article explores digital pathways that bring users from different countries to a sex education site.Finally, studies show that web-based sexual health education increases awareness, knowledge and behaviour related to sexual and reproductive health issues.Insights from studies such as those above have helped a great deal with developing interactive and comprehensive content in online sex education.In the first literature review of 36 articles focusing on use of the internet for sex educational purposes by adolescents aged 13–19, Simon and Daneback (2013) identified four distinct themes.First, adolescents engage with online sex information: depending on the sample, between 31.6 and 76.5 per cent of study participants in the United States, 20 per cent of a sample of school adolescents in Uganda, 34.3 per cent of Ghanaian adolescents, and 45 per cent of a female sample of adolescents in Nigeria had used the internet for information about sexual health.1 Motivation For most young people in the world, getting reliable information about sex can be difficult.
In many countries traditional gatekeepers such as religious and educational authorities are still powerfully restricting access, content and materials used for sex education.
Third, several studies in the review – such as Bay-Cheng (2001), Keller .
(2002, 2004) and Isaacson (2006) – suggest that user-driven and positive messaging seem to be rare, and that information about topics such as sexual orientation and identity, masturbation, and abortion are marginalised.
What practitioners, policymakers and researchers are missing is a better understanding of why, when and how adolescents are searching for and gathering information, what experiences they have online, and how changes in technology – which is more interactive and social nowadays – as well as legal and cultural contexts affect the use of (re)sources.
This article attempts to contribute to an understanding of how online information about sexual health education offered by sex educators operating from offices in different national contexts is accessed by users and restricted by gatekeepers.
Research has not looked at how these rules shape the interactions between sex educators and the new internet gatekeepers, while these are arguably key in setting boundaries on strategies for reaching out to young people with information about sex and relationships.