The importance of research
Good market research into the specific target group you want to reach can tell you two things. Firstly what you need to do to change their behaviour. This could be in terms of information, skills, attitudes or improvements in services. Secondly, it can also tell you how to reach them. This is particularly important if they aren't interested in what you have to say. In this case they aren't likely to pick up your leaflet or notice a poster. But if you start from what they're interested in, you may be able to engage them in health this way. Below are some examples of how this might be done.
Commission a musical about sexual health to perform to parents and young people at health fairs, festivals etc and support it with contraception staff. For more information see pages 51-55 of the main document embedded in this website. To hear what it might sound like go to the November 2010 blog of Inspiration Jukebox.
Mexican health staff worked with a writer and sex workers to produce a romantic novella about the women's lives. The research had shown that this was a format that particularly appealed to them. Other research had suggested a story line about staying HIV free so as to look after your children would motivate them. The story gave also information about AIDS and illustrated skills e.g. what to say to clients who didn't want to use a condom. For more information see pages 69-70 of the main document embedded in this website.
Sex in many ways lends itself to comedy. I remember a number of HIV cabarets in the Nineties. Another approach would be to have 'Ann Summers' type parties and build sex education in them using comedy and perhaps music. For more on this see pages 89-91 of the main document embedded in this website.
There have been a number of computer games around sex education. For more information click here.
The sex lives of footballers or WAGS are always in the news. Simple discussion, comic book stories or Scruple type boards all offer ways of exploring the issues that come out of this. For more on using football click here.
Fashion and beauty
Getting dressed up is all part of getting for a night out and meeting a potential sexual partner. Work with appropriate clothing stores to get your safer sex message across. For more on fashion click here.
(For references click here and links click here.)
To download the whole 180 page report on using popular culture to tackle health inequalities click here
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