Sex education should include safe sex practices

Find 1-min video w/ narration here:
– Play by opening the PowerPoint file, selecting ‘Slide Show’ and play ‘From Start’
– I was not able to make it a video format file, because screen recording messes up the sound.

Comments about the assignment:

Wow—what a challenging assignment! At first I considered everything from promoting 1-year federally funded maternity/paternity leave to increasing science funding for medical applications of psychedelics.  Then I started off trying to argue queer-inclusive sex ed and realized that I could only argue that to people already on board with safe sex-oriented sex ed in the first place. For those people, who are likely also to support queer rights, making sex ed queer-inclusive is likely more an awareness issue than a disputed issue.

So I landed on arguing for sex ed oriented around safe sex practices. I wanted to build a case around randomized controlled trials measuring the effectiveness on metrics like teen pregnancy and STI rates of abstinence-only programs vs. safe sex programs, and it turned out that either the data I wanted does not exist or is hard to come by. It is hard for studies to measure anything beyond self-reported sexual behavior.

Next, without the quantitative numbers to make a good argument, I wanted to make a rational argument for why sex ed should focus on safe sex practices. However, I felt like my rational arguments relied on value judgments that a conservative audience would not share. In the end I ended up using an appeal to authority, having read that 70% of Republicans do in fact trust the CDC as an organization.

Visual Explanatory Illustrations: “Back of a Napkin” methodology

[[* I reviewed the lists of tools, but understood that the selected tool does not need to be among the ones listed *]]

As a reaction to the access to huge amounts of information, we’ve seen a surge of explanatory media. is known for its tagline “Explain the news”, theSkimm has a set of guides to hot news topics, and the tool FOLD lets writers link media cards along with their writing to provide more context.

News and storytelling already rely on images, audio, maps, cards, data diagrams, and more, to support their arguments and provide context. There is, however, an underuse of illustrations that help explain how systems work. We are visual thinkers and most of us learn better with pictures. While glorified illustrations of data and aesthetically pleasing designs are appealing, I am now talking about pictures that enable understanding by for example showing how things are connected. Future news sources that leverage this tool of explanatory illustrations, and successfully satisfy readers’ demand for understanding the news, will be at an advantage.

Figure 1: Example of an explanatory illustration

A specific tool that teaches anyone to problem-solve and communicate with pictures is Dan Roam’s book The Back of a Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures. Dan Roam provides a methodology for discovering, developing, and selling ideas through pictures. He shows how to decompose a problem and come up with both simple pictures, as illustrated in Fig. 1, and more complex pictures.



Dan Roam describes the process of visual thinking as four steps, with separate chapters describing how to do each step:
1) looking, i.e. collecting and screening
2) seeing, i.e. selecting and clumping
3) imagining, i.e. seeing what is not there
4) showing, i.e. making it all clear

The book also includes concrete methodology charts, as shown in Figure 2, that can be useful starting points when determining how best to illustrate a topic or your ideas with pictures.

Figure 2: A chart to help determine how best to visualize a problem. The rows specify what type of problem it is (who/what, where, etc.) and the columns specify what should be highlighted (quality vs. quantity, vision vs. execution, etc.).




Katrine’s Bio

don’t have any photos with lavender hair yet

Hello, you!  I’m Katrine, pronounced “Katrina” and spelled with an “e”.  Please, if you’re hesitant, just ask or pick one and go with it — you’re interesting and I want to get to know you.

Part 2 of our in-class tweet icebreaker:

  • tweet 1:  Katrine. Comp. Sci. M.Eng. student working with Ethan. Central Square resident. Born and raised Norwegian, increasingly American at heart.
  • tweet 2:  Why this class? Media matters. Raving reviews. Learning from all of you with totally different backgrounds from mine.
  • tweet 3:  Things that I like:  Code for good, slam poetry, rock climbing, behavioral econ., queer/feminist discussions, the music duo “Dresses”

If you’re interested in more of the ‘professional’ stuff, this website has something like that.