Video Game That Teaches Girls to Resist Peer Pressure about Sex

Charles Hughes and Anne Norris, professors of respectively computer science and nursing at the University of Central Florida, are developing a video game. This game will teach middle school-age Latinas to resist peer pressure to have sex:

“Our ultimate goal is to reduce pregnancy and sexually-transmitted disease among the young Latina population,” Norris said.

The schoolgirls will interact with realistic computer-generated characters that speak and respond to them in real-life scenarios. To make the game as realistic as possible, the avatars are controlled by the actions of a skilled “interactor” using motion-capture technology. The interactor remains hidden, often in a remote location, during game play.

Norris cites many reasons for focusing on young Latina adolescents, age 12-15. Low-income Latinas have higher teen birth rates and higher rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases than their white peers. The best time to teach girls abstinence and peer-resistance skills is during middle school — those approaches are less effective once girls become sexually active. And many Latina girls may lack role models who can help them learn how to resist peer pressure.

Link via Kotaku | Photo: UCF Today

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