Researcher: Vulgarity teaches boys about safe sex

A QUEENSLAND researcher says society has to get down and dirty to drive home the safe-sex message to teenage boys.

While girls are likely to learn safe sexual behaviour through friends or magazines, boys seem to ignore critical lessons about sexual health.

They enjoy crude comedies including Family Guy, South Park and Californication.

Which is why Queensland University of Technology communications professor Alan McKee created his project, "Funny S*** About Sex", which would use male comedians to tell dirty jokes about sexual health.

"The information is there, the question is whether they put it into practice - clearly they don't," he said.

"It has very little to do with what you're doing when you're fumbling in the back of a car with your partner.

"We're looking at ways to engage young men on their own terms."

To a group of 89 boys aged 14 to 16, Prof McKee showed a viral internet image that he said approached the level of vulgarity he was talking about.

When it is projected at the conference today, it will almost certainly draw gasps and cringes from the audience.

But it instantly connected with the 89 boys who laughed and said they had previously shared it with friends.

Professor McKee said the challenge will be whether health professionals could actually stomach being so vulgar about the topic.

"Comedy is never preachy - it can't be," he said.

"Can we cope with that?"