Ask Roo: Planned Parenthood's Sex-ed Chatbot

Planned Parenthood introduced a new feature to their site that goes by the name of Roo. Roo is a sex-ed chatbot where teens can ask any questions about sex, relationships, etc. The lack of sex-ed in the United States is a very prominent issue in today’s society. Only 24 states enforce sex education. That leaves 26 states without proper sex education. Therefore, there are many adolescents without answers to their questions related to all things sex, puberty, relationships and many other related topics. When adolescents are left without proper sex education they often look for answers online. However, the issue with this is that there is a lot of inaccurate and contradictory information online. This can be dangerous and misleading to impressionable teens. 

Roo emphasizes the fact that the chat between the bot and the teen is always anonymous. Planned Parenthood wanted to make it known to teens that it’s a safe place where they aren’t being judged or even have to reveal their identity. Roo’s answers are always nonjudgemental and give accurate information. Here’s an example of what happens when you ask Roo a question: 

Credit: Planned Parenthood

When Roo doesn’t have an answer to a question, the bot will respond with resources the teen can use to find what they may be looking for. However, the content strategists for the app take note of the questions without answers and find the answers for them to continue growing the variety of information Roo can provide. Because Roo is a non-judgemental and safe place where teens should feel comfortable to ask whatever they want, Roo always sends positive gifs after answering each question. Here are some examples:

Credit: Planned Parenthood

Technology is already a huge part of the everyday life of teens, so providing an online sex-ed bot is an extremely accessible and safe way for any teen to get accurate information and answers. Roo is a positive step forward to making sex-ed available to every teen and making the topic of sex overall one that doesn't need to be 'embarassing'. 

Here's a link to access Roo.