1. National Conference of State Legislatures. (2015, February 3). State Policies on Sex Education in Schools.
2. Owusu-Edusei K, et al. The estimated direct medical cost of selected sexually transmitted infections in the United States, 2008. Sex Transm Dis 2013; 40(3): pp. 197-201
3. Pew Research Center. (2013, December 27). Mobile Technology Fact Sheet from http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet
4. World Health Organization. (2003). Adherence to Long-Term Therapies - Evidence for Action: Annexes: Annex I – Behavioral mechanisms explaining adherence: 4 Models.
5. Berglas NF et al., A Rights-Based Approach to Sexuality Education: Conceptualization, Clarification and Challenges, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2014, 46(2):63-72
6. Witte, K., & Allen, M. (2000). A Meta-Analysis Of Fear Appeals: Implications For Effective Public Health Campaigns. Health Education & Behavior, 27(5), 591-615
7. Beymer, M., Weiss, R., Bolan, R., Rudy, E., Bourque, L., Rodriguez, J., & Morisky, D. (2014). Sex on demand: Geosocial networking phone apps and risk of sexually transmitted infections
among a cross-sectional sample of men who have sex with men in Los Angeles county. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 7(90), 567-572. doi:10.1136/sextrans-2013-051494
BOINK! is a new sexual health and safety application that
can be accessed by anyone with a smartphone. Sex
education across the United States in not uniform and there
are severe consequences when public health does not have
effective and widespread interventions.
Only 44% of states require that
sex education is taught in
schools, and 34% of states
require that if sex education is
taught in schools, the
information must be medically
accurate1. The implications of this
lack of accurate sex education are seen in the reported
cases of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) and
unplanned pregnancies. The $16 billion associated with the
medical costs of having an STI and the $21 billion cost
attributable to unintended pregnancies illustrates the need
for the promotion of these sexual health and safety tools
BOINK! addresses the sexual health and safety needs of
target populations. Topics covered in this application include
a variety of topics such as gender, anatomy, contraception,
STI prevention, dating safety, among many others. These
topics can be accessed by the nearly 64 million diverse
Americans that each own a smartphone3.
1. Review and update content and resources included in the
2. Research for and create comprehensive lists of more
than 100 sexual health resources
3. Assist with designing an effective method for reaching
4. Utilize public health promotion skills to develop and
implement strategic marketing plans
• Public health messages that promote the self-efficacy of an
individual have more successful outcomes than fear-
• Sexual health and safety education must include more than
the simple messages typically found in the public health
• Technology grows faster than public health can respond to
the associated issues and risks. The use of dating
applications that employ geo-locaters to identify the closest
consenting individual is helping STI rates to skyrocket in
pockets of metropolitan areas as these dating applications
increase in popularity. 7 Public Health must address these
sexual health needs through a medium the at-risk population
is familiar with.
• The private market has the advantage of not having to wait
for an abundance of scientific evidence confirming efficacy to
begin to employ new strategies to public health issues.
This project has the potential to impact millions of people who
may or may not have access to reliable and accurate
information. For further expansion and improvement, project
developers should engage in audience testing to improve
message acceptance by the target population. Developers
should continue to upload new information and update older
resources to reflect current scientific and medical knowledge.
Public health researchers should continue to study how
mobile application technology can impact public health issues
and provide guidelines to its future uses.
• The target population is sexually active Americans ages
• Researched assigned topics through mediums such as the
CDC, CDPH, PubMed, PsychInfo, and related databases.
• Incorporate the Information, Motivation, and Behavior
change (IMB) model when creating content to help build the
self efficacy of the user to help the user react appropriately
to real-life situations described in BOINK!.4
• Completed content was submitted for review and finalized
during weekly Skype meetings with preceptors.
User Interface Sample Content
There’s An App For That:
The new wave of sex education
Samantha Smith1, Francisco Ramirez MPH2, Elise Schuster MPH3
1. University of California, Davis, 2. United Nations, 3. The Door
1. Preceptors: Francisco Ramirez, MPH and Elise Shuster, MPH
2. Faculty Advisor: Diana Cassady, DrPH
3. UC Davis Program Director: Stephen McCurdy, M.D., MPH
4. Additional Acknowledgements: Thomas Farver, M.S., Ph.D.,
Ellen Gold, Ph.D., Lorena Garcia, MPH, Ph.D.
5. UC Davis Master of Public Health Program Students and Staff
I created content with the rights-based
sexuality curriculum as the foundation in
addition to the IMB model.5 Content
included a wide range of topics covering
sexual health and safety, and personal
health and safety. Once the content was
finalized it was sent to the computer
developer to begin the process of coding
the content in the application.
Source: The Alan Guttmacher InstituteSource: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%100%
Less than $30,000
$30,000 - $49,000
$50,000 - $74,999
Smartphone Ownership in the United States
Percentage of Smartphone