Momentos: Sparking Meaningful Conversations in the Latinx Community
In life, there are some conversations that, regardless of training and experience, will always be difficult. Whether it's speaking with your boss about a raise or discussing a separation with your partner—these conversations are difficult, but often a necessary part of life. For a trusted adult with a teenager—particularly in the Hispanic community—conversations regarding sex and how to avoid unplanned pregnancies are awkward to say the least.
Here at Power to Decide, the campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancy, we work on various initiatives at both national and local levels that help provide opportunities for all young people to pursue the future they want and to realize their full potential. Part of that work includes Innovation Next, a project aimed at discovering early innovation to help remove barriers so that young people can reach their full potential. Through Innovation Next, a team from Westat developed Momentos, a text-based tool that provides weekly text messages with practical advice and strategies for Spanish-speaking parents interested in communicating with their children about sexual health.
Like with many parents, research shows that in the U.S., Hispanic parents could stand to speak more often and more openly about sex and contraception with their teens. These studies also indicate that those teens are also more likely to turn to their parents to influence their decisions about sex. In Spanish speaking households, where these conversations are not part of the culture, tools like Momentos help to close the communication gap with a technology-based, parent-centered, and culturally appropriate tool that empowers parents to talk to their kids in an effective way about pregnancy prevention. Momentos is an important tool to help parents have difficult conversations by providing accurate information that can help change lives.
The Momentos program, which was launched as a pilot, included 590 participants, and enlisted the expertise of health educators and online influencers to provide information regarding sexual health and contraception. The initial results from the pilot program speak for themselves. From the 590 parents who participated, 91% reported using the content to initiate conversations; 63% reported feeling more confident talking about sex with their child; and 74% reported that they would continue participating in Momentos.
To further provide tools and opportunities to spark critical conversations, this May Power to Decide will be kicking off #TalkingIsPower Month, a national effort to spark meaningful conversations between young people and the trusted adults and champions in their lives regarding sex, love, and relationships. We believe that every young person— regardless of who they are or where they live—has the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant. To that end, we will continue to work towards providing champions with effective tools to initiate difficult conversations.