Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education that Works

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Program description

Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education that Works, offered by Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts, provides a lesson-based approach to SEL with academic integration for health/sex education. It includes programming for grades 6-8 and demonstrates evidence of effectiveness at grades 6-8. Translated materials for Get Real are available in Spanish

Strategies supporting educational equity

Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education that Works offers strategies for understanding context, customizing for context, and youth action projects. This includes training designed to have teachers explore the range of personal values regarding sexuality that may be in their classroom, guidance throughout teacher manuals for adjusting lessons to meet the needs of students, and a culminating capstone project where students create a media campaign to promote positive messages about the context learned through the program

      • SEL lessons
      • Relationship building
      • Shared agreements
      • Service-learning
      • Family Intervention Component
      • Connecting Families With Community Supports
      • Activities and Resources for Home
    • Onsite in-person training
    • Virtual training
    • Offsite training
    • Train the trainer model
    • Administrator support
    • Coaching
    • Technical assistance
    • Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
    • Online resource library
    • Self-report tools for monitoring implementation
    • Observational tools
    • Tools for measuring student success

Evidence of effectiveness

Results from a randomized control trial (RCT) evaluation published in 2014 supported the effectiveness of the Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education That Works program for middle school students. In sum, this evaluation included 2,453 grades 6-8 students in urban schools in the Northeast (Black = 32%, white = 24%, Hispanic = 35%; 72% of students in the participating districts were eligible for state-administered programs for low-income individuals). This evaluation found that students receiving the Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education That Works program showed significantly lower implied likelihood of sexual debut by 8th grade than the control group (outcomes reported approximately 9 weeks after baseline, while controlling for outcome pretest)

  • Evidence shown in grades
    6, 7, 8
    School characteristics
      • Urban
      • Northeast
    Student characteristics
    • Black / African American
    • Hispanic / Latinx
    • White
    • Low income
    Percentage Low Income
    • Percentage of students in districts eligible for state low income programs: 72%
    Study design type
    • RCT
    Greater than 350 students included in study design type
    • Yes
    Multiple school districts included at study design type
    • Yes
    • Improved academic performance
    • Reduced emotional distress
    • Improved identity development and agency
    • Reduced problem behaviors
    • Improved school climate
    • Improved school connectedness
    • Improved social behaviors
    • Improved teaching practices
    • Improved other SEL skills and attitudes

How does Get Real support SEL implementation across multiple settings?

“Throughout Get Real, students reflect on their personal attitudes and beliefs about sexuality; put voice to those beliefs and associate them with boundaries; and are equipped with skills to make healthy decisions about their sexual health—all of which supports students as individuals and has ripple effects on their school, family, and community.”
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