v Copyright 2018 Marline E. Pearson the scripts of the popular and media culture. They learn more about the positives of sexual delay, risk avoidance, and self-regulation in achieving their personal and life goals. Medically-accurate information on pregnancy, STDs and HIV, and prevention are presented in a context that does not normalize teen sexual activity. A New Message on Pregnancy Prevention and the Success Sequence Many pregnancy prevention messages focus on a young person’s self-interest, as in how a pregnancy would negatively affect him or her. Relationship Smarts PLUS-SRA takes a different approach. It encourages young people to step outside themselves and look more deeply at the consequences for children of unplanned pregnancy. By placing the child at center stage, participants see through the eyes of the child the consequences of sliding into sex and an unplanned pregnancy and the relationship turbulence that often accompanies it. Examining how an unplanned pregnancy can affect a child may tap a powerful and positive source of motivation to more consciously plan to delay sex until adulthood and marriage. In this context, the value of sexual delay and following the Success Sequence is reinforced. Teens learn that this sequence can greatly reduce one’s risk of poverty while also helping them reach their life goals. Youth learn that doing some of life’s big things in a particular sequence really does matter—finish your schooling, be employed and married before starting a family. Encouraging deliberate planning for sexual delay and sexual risk avoidance can reduce some formidable barriers in their personal lives as young people work toward their goals in education, employment, marriage, and family. An Activity and Media-Based Approach This curriculum is delivered entirely through activities that are informative, fun, upbeat, and meant to affirm the importance of teen relationship experiences. Relationship Smarts PLUS-SRA is packed with lively activities that use scenarios written by diverse youth. It incorporates popular music, music videos, film, stories, poetry, drawing, sculpting, and an engaging workbook that helps teens apply curriculum concepts and skills to their own lives. The scenarios and images are LGBTQ inclusive. Relationship Smarts PLUS-SRA appeals equally to males and females. Parent-Teen Connection activities for each lesson are designed to convey core material to a parent, relative, or trusted adult and serve as a catalyst for conversations with an adult on these very important issues. Parent-teen (or trusted adult) connectedness has been found to be the strongest protective factor against risky behaviors, even beyond class, race, and family structure.3 These connection activities provide a way to partner with parents, relatives, or trusted adults and mentors in helping teens navigate the choppy waters of adolescence.
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