Get Real Now on OAH List of Evidence-Based Programs
February 6, 2015 – The comprehensive sexuality education curriculum Get Real has been added to the official Office of Adolescent Health’s evidence-based program list for teen pregnancy prevention. This means the program can be used for teen pregnancy prevention programs funded by OAH, and prospective OAH grantees now have access to this middle school program with demonstrated results in helping teens delay sex.
Get Real, developed by Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and published by ETR, is a 3-year curriculum designed to be taught across the middle school years (grades 6, 7 and 8), with 9 lessons at each grade. Get Real delivers medically accurate, age-appropriate information, and emphasizes social and emotional skills as a key component of healthy relationships and responsible decision making. It promotes abstinence from sex as the healthiest choice for adolescents; provides a comprehensive understanding of sexual health, sexuality and protection methods; and supports parents as the primary sexuality educators of their children through family activities that encourage dialogue between students and the caring adults in their lives about sexual health topics.
Get Real was evaluated in a largely urban setting with a diverse student population, and is suitable for all teens, regardless of their sexual experience or sexual orientation. The research findings show that Get Real works to delay sex among students who received the program, empowers parents to help their children delay sex, reinforces family communication and improves communication skills for healthy relationships.
In terms of delaying sex, there was a significant effect for both boys and girls, with 16% fewer boys and 15% fewer girls who received Get Real having had sex by the end of eighth grade compared to boys and girls who had sex education “as usual” in comparison schools. For boys, family involvement showed an additional effect, with boys who completed Family Activities in sixth grade being less likely to report having had sex in eighth grade than boys who did not complete these activities.
Schools that can implement the program as intended are likely to reap significant benefits from exposing their students to a relationship-skills-based comprehensive sexuality education program with a strong family-involvement component.
ETR is very pleased to be able to offer this exemplary program to the field and to add it to the growing list of evidence-based programs on ETR's Evidence-Based Program Center website.