Empowering Youth: How Get Real Works
What the Research Says
Parents are the primary sexuality educators of their children, imparting family and community values, attitudes, and beliefs. However, parents often have difficulty talking with their children about sex and sexuality.
- A recent National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy study found that 87% of U.S. teens say it would be easier to postpone sexual activity if they were able to talk more openly about sex with their parents, but 37% of teens say that they have never had a single conversation with their parents on this topic.
- According to a national survey conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in 2003, nearly nine in ten parents of 13-17 year olds report that sexual health is more of a concern than any other social issue, including alcohol or drug use, violence, depression or discrimination.
Why Get Real?
Get Real encourages students to talk with a parent or another caring adult about the material covered in class. Get Real includes take-home family activities that encourage dialogue between students and their parents or another trusted caregiver. There is a family activity for each lesson in the curriculum.
Parents/guardians are supported through:
- Informational letters explaining the family activity
- Strategies and tips for talking with their children about topics covered in class
- Additional education resources, including our e-newsletter, The Parent Buzz, featuring current, helpful strategies and resources for talking with kids about sex and sexuality
- Schools implementing Get Real are encouraged to host parent orientations to give an overview of the curriculum and answer any questions. Teachers are given thorough support for organizing parent orientation during the Get Real Teacher Training.
To sign-up for The Parent Buzz, email with your name and email address.
Great Resources for Parents
Please check out these pages for resources and advice to parents about how to take an active role in their child's sexual health education.
- The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has a page for parents with tips on communicating with their children, including results from surveys regarding what information and advice teens are most looking for from their parents.
- Advocates for Youth has a Parents Sex Ed Center that provides statistics and studies that promote communication between parents and children about sexuality and sexual health.
- This blog post by Dr. Sheila Overton on the Health Teen Network lays out the five characteristics that help a child see their parents as "approachable"-- invaluable advice for the parent looking to have successful and effective conversations about sex.