Shhh!Sex


System design project to understand and bridge gaps in the hush-hush scenario of sex education in India

project details

Mentor : Praveen Nahar
Role : Researcher, Information Designer
Team : Ishaan Dass, Rucha Joshi, Srayana Sanyal & Kalyani Tupkary
Timeline: 10 weeks | 2019

The giga map along with a research paper was presented at the RSD5 Symposium 2016, OCAD, Toronto

Interview by the Outliers


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*HOW DO YOU design within complex systems?

Shhh!Sex is a systems design project with the purpose of understanding the hush-hush scenario of sex and sexuality education in India and the world. This was a ten week long intensive project where we studied, mapped, diagnosed problems and proposed solutions for this complex system of values, taboos and pedagogy. 

We created a blog to document the project. View the full story here!


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RESEARCH

We employed various research methodologies to gather primary research.
These included an expert interview with a psychiatrist at Better We Institute of Psychiatr, focus groups interviews with students at Diwan Ballubhai Senior Secondary School, participatory observational research at Kishori Shakti Yojana Centre (a component under the central government's Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme) and semi structures interviews at the Kalupur Railway Station & Alpha One Shopping Mall in Ahmedabad. We talked to a range of people, from affluent young adults to youngsters from the low-income group along with teachers, parents and adults.

Broaching a sensitive subject such as sex to strangers was challenging. We learned to navigate these conversations without disrespecting the audience's socio-cultural beliefs.

These trigger cards contain the reasons why sex education is important and needed in society. They were used as triggers to prompt discussion amongst the team.

These trigger cards contain the reasons why sex education is important and needed in society. They were used as triggers to prompt discussion amongst the team.

 
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The stakeholders of this system can be divided into three groups:

Facilitators that aid communication between the giver of sex ed and the receivers of information. They generate content, suggest methods, formulate policies and design frameworks for the flow of information. Givers are responsible for the direct dissemination of information with the receivers. Their role is to impart sex education in the most effective & objective manner.Receivers make up the general population which needs sex education.

Today’s receivers will be givers and facilitators tomorrow. If the facilitators fail to do their duties appropriately, the givers will fail, causing the entire system to crumble.

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We created a repository of interventions. We used an affinity diagram to add structure to the same

Fix Cards as a brainstorming toolkit.

Fix Cards as a brainstorming toolkit.

Using the affinity diagram we created Fix cards -deck of a problem-solving cards to gamify the ideation phase.

The 52 cards have been divided into 4 categories - Goal, Method, Tool, and Nature. Taking into account the contextual nature of any problem, the back of each card is left blank to allow users to define their own GMTN(s) while providing a general set of guidelines. Unique combinations of the cards can spark unusual ideas.

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We used the Fix Cards to brainstorm, the evaluation cards to assess the interventions across different media.

We used the Fix Cards to brainstorm, the evaluation cards to assess the interventions across different media.

Workshop structure, activities and details

Workshop structure, activities and details

Make It Normal is an umbrella campaign designed as a part of Shhh!Sex, system design project. Our interactive workshop was aimed at making teenagers comfortable discussing sex and sexuality. The activities encouraged students to exchange information about sex and sexuality, interspersed with us stepping in to provide additional information. It ended with an anonymous Q & A session.

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Pre workshop discussion with the school counsellor

Pre workshop discussion with the school counsellor

We consulted Ms Jamila Firdaus, the school counsellor at Navrachana High School, Vadodara, India to segregate our content age-appropriately. She also advised us about how to approach the students

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shhh!sex workshop toolkit

shhh!sex workshop toolkit

We incorporated the feedback into a workshop toolkit. It included playful activities with the objective of starting a conversation about sex and sexuality in schools and other teaching scenarios. The instruction booklet guides the giver of information on how to conduct the workshop. The back of all the cards is left blank to customize each activity according to the group the workshop would be conducted for.

The activities can be customized allowing a curated workshop experience.

We invited a few of our peers and asked them to read out general facts about sex. None of them knew what they were going to be reading. We captured their reactions on camera.

Apart from all the awkwardness and the laughter involved, the video highlights the need to create open and safe platforms for conversations about sex education.


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This giga-map (6*12 feet) is a culmination of data and insights we gathered on sex and sexuality education. It aims to represent the entire process insights we gathered on sex and sexuality education. It aims to represent the entire process and findings, in order to explain the sexuality education scenario in a single connected infographic in order to enable the viewer to understand the complete system and solve for it if need be.

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As a part of the project, we created numerous infographics to better illustrate our point of view. Here is a collection of some of them.

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