Local News

NC teens can now text for answers about sex

Posted November 25, 2015 2:43 p.m. EST
Updated November 25, 2015 6:47 p.m. EST

— North Carolina teens, comfortable using text messaging for communications big and small, can now turning to a text line for information about sexuality and relationships.

The BrdsNBz text line has been so successful that it's been replicated in South Carolina, Maryland, Florida, Texas, Indiana and New Mexico.

SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives for Teens) is a statewide nonprofit with the goal of improving the sexual knowledge and health of adolescents and young adults. In 2005, SHIFT organizers decided to communicate with teens in their format of choice – text message.

Kennon Jackson described the program this way: “We know that they have things that they are not asking their parents or trusted adults. Let’s see if we can get them to text their questions."

SHIFT started a sex text line called BrdsNBz which accepts anonymous questions about sex and relationship questions and offers a fact-based answer within 24 hours.

“We get a lot of questions about very basic things about sex, what sex is and how you define that," Jackson said.

“We have a team with 60-plus years of experience that at any one time is answering these questions to provide a medically accurate and personalized response.”

Many times the questions turn into conversations. SHIFT representatives say the end goal is to get teens off their phones and talking with a trusted adult.

Kay Phillips, CEO of SHIFT NC, said, "We do feel that they need that conversation with somebody.”

SHIFT NC also has initiatives to help teens understand and avoid unwanted pregnancies, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.