NU professors create animated music videos to teach children about reproductive health

Ally Mauch, Assistant Campus Editor

Olivia the Ovary and Timothy the Testis star alongside a host of other cartoon characters in “A New You, That’s Who” — a series of music videos aiming to teach children about reproductive health.

Feinberg Prof. Teresa Woodruff, dean of The Graduate School and an OB-GYN, helped create the series, and Communication Prof. Eric Patrick served as the executive producer of the videos, according to a news release. The songs in the music videos were composed by award-winning songwriter Robert Charde.

“We are really trying to be the authoritative source for reproductive health information,” Woodruff said. “It’s important because there’s no real place for kids to go to get the information they need.”

The videos, posted on Northwestern-affiliated website Reprotopia, are centered on topics such as puberty, menstruation and anatomy.

The videos are aimed at children ages 10 to 14, but Woodruff said she wants the website to be a source of information for people of all ages. Woodruff said she and her colleagues also created a coloring book for children ages 5 to 7.

Woodruff said it is also important for parents to know more about reproductive health.

“So often, parents want to be in control of the reproductive health information, but they themselves never got good information,” Woodruff said.

Communication Prof. Ellen Wartella, who leads the Center on Media and Human Development, is conducting a research project to see how well the videos teach children about reproductive health.

Early research found that children who watched the Reprotopia videos scored 75 percent on a quiz about reproductive health, while children who watched different videos scored 50 percent on the same quiz, according to the release.

Woodruff said the website is an ongoing project with plans to expand. She added that they would like to connect with other schools in the future.

“There’s so much more about our own bodies and reproductive health that we need to understand better,” Woodruff said. “This is really one way that we are looking to get that information out.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @allymauch