Talking about sex (really talking about sex) with Gen Z (and Gen Alpha) in Mexico
Few global organizations are as well-known for battling sexual health and safe abortion stigma as DKT International. We push against societal boundaries, but only as far as our local teams are willing to do so, as they lead the way forward within the norms of their own political and popular culture.
In this way, our values are very much in alignment with Gen Z, a generation known for its boundary pushing, especially when it comes to gender, sexuality and sexual health. For the past year, DKT México has conducted an extensive outreach program called DKT School to reach Gen Z and the next generation, Gen Alpha, where they are: in high school and even, in middle schools around Mexico. The bold effort redefines sex education, moving it from a dry, neutralizing, shame-filled experience to a fun, interactive event that opens the door to conversations about all types of sexuality, teen pregnancy, pleasure and fun.
DKT School is led by a team of 22 to 29 young, sex education experts who live in the communities where they work, said Denisse Beltrán, Marketing Director at DKT Latam North.
Since January, DKT Mexico has held 1100 events throughout the country, educating more than 434,000 students in the first nine months of 2023. Every event requires a process of intense coordination and groundwork, where educators forge relationships with administrators and communities to ensure everyone is prepared for the content and scope of a training. When an educator works in a community, she said, they “must live there…talk like them, explain things in the same level of communication” so that students and teachers are comfortable with the presentations. This is necessary because DKT School takes sexual education to a new level, covering topics that have traditionally been taboo such as gender fluidity, teenage pregnancy, menstruation, and STIs–challenging students and faculty to see sexuality as an authentically human experience with a pleasure-focused lens.
According to statistics from 2021, Mexico has the second-highest adolescent birth rate of all member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). These rates have declined significantly in recent years, but Beltrán said DKT’s team is very focused on bringing it down even more, rallying administrators around the need to inform and educate young people on how to protect themselves and their future.
Not every school has welcomed DKT School’s content with an open mind. Beltrán said there have been instances when teachers have stopped the presentation and when that has happened, team members direct students to the many social media sites run by DKT Mexico. However, she said, the response has mostly been positive, with the majority of schools approaching the team themselves, often through word-of-mouth recommendations from other schools.
“Their resistance is contradictory–the kids have everything on Google,” Beltrán said. “These kids have all the information they want about sex in one-click.They are learning about sex with porn and we explain to them that those people are actors, that they (the students) have rights, and they have the right to contraception and knowledge.”
For a more extensive video about DKT School in English see the video below. If you would like more information about this program, or any of DKT Mexico’s programming, please contact Ms. Denisse Beltrán at firstname.lastname@example.org.