Carnegie Mellon Professor Creates Film Aimed at Reducing Risky Sexual Behavior Among Young Women

Julie Downs, an associate research professor of social and decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, has led a team that produced a new interactive film that seeks to educate teenage women about risky sexual behavior. The cast and crew of the film is made up of students at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.

“Our goal is to create a tool that will help teenagers make better decisions for themselves,” said Dr. Downs. “For the most part, adolescents don’t want to get pregnant. They definitely don’t want to contract a disease. By building on our research about what goes into their decisions, we have crafted a video that will help them avoid these negative outcomes.”

A follow-up study will take place to determine if young women who view film will have fewer unplanned pregnancies and lower rates of sexually transmitted disease than young women who did not view the film. The project was funded by a five-year, $7.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Filed Under: Women's Studies


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