TOULOUSE, France – A project to create one of the first animated series addressing sex education for pre-teens was presented in France on Wednesday.
Sex Symbols, a Spanish production that featured at the Cartoon Forum in Toulouse, looks to fill a gap in the education curriculum that has left many 9 to 14-year-olds lacking in age-appropriate lessons on sexuality.
“We see that, from nine-years-old, the kids are starting to investigate sexuality and on the internet they only find pornography,” Paloma Mora, the mind behind the animation, told Efe.
Mora said that exposure to pornography at such a young age can lead pre-teens to identify sexuality and sexual acts with the subjugation of women.
The animators spoke with specialists in sex education and family planning about some of the challenges young people face nowadays.
Those issues, which range from erectile dysfunction, contraception, and bodily changes in puberty, are dealt with separately in each episode of the series, in which the protagonists are the body parts themselves.
The series wants to give a voice to a figure other than the father while at the same time be entertaining.
“It tells stories naturally and with humor, which is the perfect language to reach young people,” said Mora, 49.
In the pilot episode, the protagonists are the ovaries, who explain the phenomenon of menstruation.
There are four human protagonists in the show, too, whose distinctive characters and physical attributes make them relatable.
“In the case of a subject like this, which is still taboo for TV, a pilot was necessary to show the style, the characters but also to stop treating it like a delicate matter.”
The project, produced by Mora’s TV On Producciones, is expected to cost $1.9 million and has already secured half of its funding.
Mora hopes to have it finished in 2020.
She appeared at the Cartoon Forum in a bid to secure the rest of the funding needed.