May 04, 2016
Our Family Jewels is the radio show DJ’d by my brother, Jules, and his co-host Steve, at Middlebury College in Vermont. The show is takes place each Sunday at 7pm, during what is referred to as “Hump Hour” at Middlebury. Jules and Steve have organized a show that plays songs related to sex or the sex lives of them and their friends, in one way or another. While playing a diverse range of genres they offer segments titled, “Story time with Steve”, “Pillow Talk”, and “Reachin’ and Teachin’”. These segments share entertaining personal experiences, little known facts or relevant news related to sexual health, with each week ending in a text from our parents expressing their enjoyment and sometimes surprise, from the last episode.
When the show first aired, my roommates and I sat in our living room listening in as Steve and Jules shared stories and played music. I found myself in fits of laughter during the segments and was almost as entertained by our family group text as I was by Our Family Jewels. Through the jokes and lightheartedness, I wanted to be sure to remind him of the importance of safe and consensual sex. The topic of sex is not one we shy away from in my home. From a young age, our parents were very clear about the importance of safety and our intimacy being consensual, a discussion many parents choose to avoid. In spirit of the radio show, MyHealthImpactNetwork offers readers the opportunity to learn more about health in a general sense. The Health Facts section of the site, speaks to the health literacy of our nation. Health literacy is defined by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine as being "the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions." Unfortunately, levels of health literacy are low, with only 13% of the population between the ages of 16 and 49 at a proficient level. This interferes with a patient’s ability to make educated decisions on their health and have the necessary conversations regarding their health status with their respective healthcare providers.
I am glad that my brother has found an entertaining way to make the discussion of sex and its health implications more comfortable for his peers. It is important that we are able to take responsibility for our own health. This ties into being literate, but also falls in the hands of others to provide the necessary support to those who are not yet comfortable with their knowledge of health. Decisions made regarding one’s health can have lifelong implications, making it imperative that a basic level of health literacy can be met.
If you would like to look into health literacy or other areas of health, there is the opportunity to do so at https://myhealthimpactnetwork.org/health-facts/cat/health-literacy. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine also offers information on health literacy and can be found at http://nnlm.gov/outreach/consumer/hlthlit.html#definitions. To listen in to Our Family Jewels you can follow the link to Middlebury College Radio, http://wrmc.middlebury.edu/. My brother’s show airs on Sundays from 7pm - 8pm, enjoy!
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