School Program Reduces Early Sex among Teens

While many parents and teens communicate about sex even in their early age, some of the most critical topics are often left unsaid. In a study conducted by the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health of New York University and Planned Parenthood, over 80% of the surveyed 1,000 plus teen-parent pairings had discussed sex at some point, but only a few of them had touched on abstinence, birth control options, and other factual sexual health data. Less than 40% of these parents mentioned about the kind of health care services their teens can get for their reproductive health.

This eventually brings a program called Get Real. It's a classroom learning method about sexual health, designed to fit its targeted audience, which are from sixth to eighth graders, and the standards set on sexual health education. It's now being implemented in more than 100 schools in some states including New York, Texas, and Rhode Island.

So far, the national campaign has been very effective based on their survey among teen boys and girls who are at the higher risk of developing risky sexual habits like having sex without adequate protection. The number of boys and girls who had engaged in pre-marital sex at this early had gone down by 16% and 15% respectively than their counterparts who didn't participate in the program.

Aside from working on the teens, giving them a more accurate idea and knowledge about their bodies, the program also works on improving the communication between parents and their teens, especially on topics that are as sensitive as sex. About 90% of the parents approved having sex education in middle and high school classes. However, the program also acknowledges the huge role parents can do in order to prevent teens from engaging in sex early. As part of the campaign, both parents and teens are given methods to communicate as naturally as possible. Moreover, parents are encouraged to talk about sex even before their children become sexually active and that the discussion should continue until their teens.