Feature Articles

“Making Smart Choices” – a Sexuality Education Mobile App

Ref Number: ESEAOR201312b

  • Date1 Dec 2013
  • Category FPA Message
  • Targets Students Youth Public
  • AuthorFPAHK
  • Topic Health Knowledge

A new sexuality education mobile app “Making Smart Choices” has been well received among students since it was rolled out in September 2013. The Chinese language interactive game was co-developed by the Faculty of Education of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (FPAHK)

“This game has rectified my previous misconceptions and negative attitudes towards sex. After playing it, I’ve learned how to deal with such similar situations if I encounter them in future,” said a Form 2 girl who participated in the app’s trial run.

The app was designed to appeal to teenagers, equipping them with correct knowledge, positive attitudes and life skills to make wise decisions regarding love and sexuality in a fun, interactive and personalized way. It consists of 5 mini-games with different scenarios where participants make decisions for their chosen virtual characters and learn in the process. The mini-games and their objectives are:

“Love Q&A” - to gain better self-understanding for establishing a healthy love relationship;

“Intimacy Photo” - to learn to set and maintain intimate boundaries;

“Escape from Impulse” - to understand about sexual impulse and considerations in deciding whether to have sex or not;

“Like the Sex Knowledge” - to acquire safer sex knowledge including contraceptives, emergency contraception and prevention of AIDS and sexually transmissible diseases, and awareness of self-protection;

“Rank your Exit” - to know the options and support services in case of unplanned pregnancies.

To test the effectiveness and acceptance of the app among teenagers, a series of game sessions and workshops for nearly 900 junior secondary students in 5 schools were conducted. Data and feedback were collected through questionnaires and focus group interviews and analyzed by HKU’s Faculty of Education. The findings showed that after playing the game, most of the students’ sex knowledge improved. They also had a perceived enhancement in other areas such as critical thinking, decision-making, communication skills and ability to seek help in relation to love and sexuality. They were mostly receptive to the app, describing the content as “interesting”, “fun to play”, “interactive”, “informative”, “real-to-life” and “applicable”.

The project was funded by the Health Care and Promotion Fund in Hong Kong. Three versions of the app are available for teenagers to play on iPad, internet and Facebook respectively. An international version will soon be launched to reach out to teenagers in Mainland China, Macau, Taiwan, and the Chinese-speaking community around the world.