So why does a pregnancy center have a relationship education program that goes into the community/schools speaking about sex and healthy relationships?
The original concept was to develop a program that could serve as a prevention tool to address the rise of unexpected pregnancies in the community. The intent was to create a proactive response, particularly in dealing with teens, rather than dealing with the after-effects. Amnion's Relationship Education Program (RealEd) was formed over 20 years ago with that intent.
Today, the RealEd program focus centers on healthy relationships, rather than just prevention. There are many programs teaching about birth control methods and contraception. However, few programs focus on the skills and choices that are essential for healthy relationships.
The goal of the program is to encourage teenagers to think critically about their choices—what they think is healthy, moral, and beneficial. The Real-Ed presentation is based on the cognitive-behavioral theory ("Feel-Think-Act"), which is evidence-based and empirically researched. The objective of the presentation is not to engage in therapy but rather present tools, which have proven to be effective, to assist young adults in making healthy decisions.
As current research progresses in the sex education field, results are showing that teenagers are asking and responding very positively to a psycho-educational perspective: a program that speaks to relational issues, rather than just biological issues. Experts notice that youth are "hungry" to learn about the emotional aspects of sexuality, successful friendships and romantic relationships (Wetzstein, 2005). Teens are engaged as they think about peer pressure, body image, and communication struggles between couples (Fay and Yanoff, 2000). All of these issues are addressed in the engaging and candid RealEd presentation.
Fay, J., & Yanoff, J. (2000). What are teens telling us about sexual health?, Journal of Sex Education and Therapy. 25, 169-177.
Wetzstein, Cheryl. “Middle Ground on Sex Ed.” The Washington Times, 10 Feb 2005.