Go Ask Alice is a sex education forum run by Columbia University' health services department.
The site gives students a platform to ask health and sex-related questions and receive responses from educated health professionals who use the penname Alice.
It is an internet resource produced by the Alice Health Promotion Program at Columbia University.
Go Ask Alice was launched in 1993. Back then it could only be utilized by Columbia students. But now it is available to a global audience.
Go Ask Alice includes a Q&A section, a Theme of the Week, link to Facebook discussions, and weekly polls.
There are also archives on alcohol and drugs, fitness and nutrition, emotional health, general health, sexuality, sexual health, and relationships.
Some of the most recent questions on Go Ask Alice include a range of topics from self-confidence, female orgasms, oral sex, and eating fat in the winter.
College News reports that the site is a trial for sample curriculum for New York City sex education.
However, the idea has brought about a storm of controversy.
Individuals coming out in resistance to Go Ask Alice include Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and the Parents' Choice Coalition.
Malliotakis says that Go Ask Alice is explicit and graphic, according to SILife.com.
Legislatures across the nation spend millions upon millions of dollars to combat sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy, highlighting the importance of sexual education, Malliotakis said. However, this particular curriculum being forced on children by the New York City Department of Education contains material that is both explicit and graphic.
The Parents' Choice Coalition is fighting for a sex education curriculum on the basis of abstinence.
The Parents' Choice Coalition gives details of the sex education that could be taught in schools, citing Go Ask Alice along with lessons such as how to correctly put on a condom and a workbook page with a map of local abortion clinics.
The New York Post included a story about NYC sex education and how students will be referred to resources, such as the Go Ask Alice website. But the newspaper highlighted some of the more personal topics the site features. Teens are referred to resources such as Columbia University's Web site Go Ask Alice, which explores topics like doggie-style and other positions, sadomasochistic sex play, phone sex, oral sex with braces, fetishes, porn stars, vibrators and bestiality, writes the Post's Susan Edelman.
They questioned parents about their feelings on the matter.
I didn't know how much detail they would get, said one mother. But, she added that many city kids learn about hanky-panky on their own.
The NYC Department of Education says that these samples are not necessarily reflective of actual materials that will be given to students as part of the curriculum.
Starting next spring, students in NYC will be required to take a sex education class in the 6th or 7th grade and then again in the 9th or 10th grade.
Some parents have come up in arms over the fact that courses could touch on topics such as condom use, alternatives to vaginal intercourse, and safe sex methods.
STDs continue to be a pervasive issue not only in NYC but in cities across the nation. Despite the fact that numbers have decreased in the second quarter of 2011 compared to the second quarter of 2010, the cases are still significant, as cited by NYC.gov.
Go Ask Alice derived its name from an anonymous diary about a girls struggle with drugs.