Review by Jason Shiroff, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2014

Young Men's Health

Straightforward health info; no-frills site could do more to engage

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Character & SEL
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Science
  • Health & Wellness
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
6-12
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Pros: There's crucial information for young men in these honest and accurate health guides.

Cons: The site's a bit dated (including some broken links) and could use a facelift to keep its target audience more engaged.

Bottom Line: It's a smart place to find accurate, no-nonsense health guides for young men, but don't expect many engaging features.

Young Men's Health can be a useful resource for any educator teaching health or sex education topics. Including the website on a classroom homepage would help direct students to the site so they can explore the topics on their own. The straightforward guides answer difficult questions with research-based answers.

The site could also be a useful research tool for class projects focusing on health. It's a safe place to send students to learn about some of these oft-avoided topics. Teachers might also want to direct parents to the site. In addition to resources for young men, there are plenty of informative parent guides on issues like mental health, diet, and substance abuse. While not a highly engaging website, Young Men's Health is a safe, informative, and practical place to point teachers, students, and families.

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Young Men's Health provides researched health information for boys and young men. Produced by the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital, the site is divided into sections including a featured article, a blog, health guides, and an "Ask Us" page. The health guides are easy to find, organized alphabetically and by topic. They're all text-rich, and written by healthcare experts in clear and concise terms. Categories include nutrition and fitness, sexuality and health, health and development, emotional health, and guides for parents. Many of the pages include a section on how to talk with healthcare providers about health concerns.

The "Ask Us" section is a collection of user-submitted questions, each answered by Boston Children's Hospital staff. Users over 13 can submit questions, and the answers may be published on the website -- there's also an archive of past questions and answers. There aren't any social or interactive features on the site. However, there is a link to a separate website/blog called Teen Speak where teens can respond to each other about health and wellness issues. The Young Men's Health site also links to the the corresponding site for girls, Center for Young Women's Health. At the time of review, a few other links on the site, such as the "Give a Gift" and "Make an Appointment" pages, weren't functional.

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Young Men's Health excels at providing accurate, research-based answers to adolescents' common health questions. It's easy to search the site and find important information quickly, and in an academic and ad-free environment. The straightforward design keeps navigation simple, and the information seems trustworthy. Guiding boys on how to talk with their healthcare providers about sensitive topics is a great feature.

Despite the quality content, the site feels old, and the broken links could be a turn-off for inquiring young men. Updating the design and adding multimedia content would help keep the target audience engaged. Adding multi-language support would also help increase the site's reach. The linked Teen Speak blog feels fresh and engaging, and it would be great if Young Men's Health could have some of this same pizzazz. With a refreshed user interface, multimodal content, and more community-building features, Young Men's Health could be a go-to resource for a lot more teen boys.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

While the health content is engaging, the site itself feels static and dated. There are a few interactive and social features to help get kids' attention, and there's a link to the TeenSpeak blog, which has a lot more pop than the site.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

As an informational site, important health topics are explained at an appropriate level and depth for its young audience. More features to help kids interact, learn, and explore would help them understand the issues more deeply.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

The text-heavy health guides have very few images or other media. There isn't a help section, but users can submit health questions to the authors. Built-in support for a variety of learners would help the site educate more widely.


Common Sense Reviewer
Jason Shiroff Classroom teacher

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