Sex and Relationship Education

Star-Cursed Lovers: Role of Popularity Information in Online Dating
A new study has found that if you’re perceived as more popular on a mobile dating app, there is a higher chance that other users will avoid connecting with you. This is one of the major findings of a study that sought to examine the effect of a dating app user’s popularity rating on their demand on the online dating platform.

Youth Relationship Education: A Meta-Analysis
Recent focus on the developmental importance of adolescent romantic relationships led to the formation and implementation of curricula and programs that educate high school-aged youth about healthy romantic relationships. This meta-analytic study examines the efficacy of youth-focused relationship education (YRE) on multiple outcomes: conflict management, faulty relationship beliefs, and healthy relationship attitudes. Searches revealed 33 studies of YRE, however, meta-analytic procedures only included 15 studies which provided sufficient data on the outcomes of focus. Hedge’s g effect sizes were significant for two of the three outcomes and are comparable with effects of other prevention programs. Overall, YRE programs are effective in changing conflict management and faulty relationship beliefs.

Relationship Education for Youth Who Have Faced Adversity
Offering extra support on developing healthy relationships is particularly important for youth who have faced interpersonal trauma and adversity; these experiences may place young people at increased risk for poor relational and other outcomes. This annotated bibliography provides practitioners and researchers with information to adapt, develop, and refine strategies for working with youth who have faced adversity (2021).

Helping Couples Achieve Relationship Success
This article reviews 34 rigorous evaluation studies of couple relationship education (CRE) programs from 2010 to 2019. Significant advances include reaching more diverse and disadvantaged target populations with positive intervention effects on a wider range of outcomes beyond relationship quality, including physical and mental health, coparenting, and even child well-being, and evidence that high-risk couples often benefit the most. Ongoing challenges include expanding our understanding of program moderators and change mechanisms, attending to emerging everyday issues facing couples (e.g., healthy breaking ups, long-distance relationships) and gaining increased institutional support for CRE (2021).

An Overview of Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Curricula
Healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programming—also called marriage and relationship education or relationship education programming— teaches concepts and skills that promote healthy, safe, and stable relationships among youth and adults. When designing and implementing an HMRE program, one of the most important decisions that program providers must make is to choose which curriculum to implement. (2020)

Research Synthesis on the Benefits of Delayed Sexual Activity for Adolescents
Explore findings from a research synthesis on how the timing of first sexual activity relates to such outcomes as teen pregnancy, relationships, mental health and emotional well-being, risky sexual activity, and substance use. (2020)

Are Relationship Education Programs for Lower-Income Individuals & Couples Working?
Over the past decade, more than 50 evaluation studies have examined the effectiveness of the Healthy Marriage and Relationships Education (HMRE) programs, including three ACF-funded, large-scale, multisite, random-assignment evaluations. Growing evidence shows that couples can learn to reduce destructive conflict and experience less physical and emotional abuse, and that these programs can improve couples’ positive communication skills, understanding, warmth, support, and co-parenting. (2019)

What Young People Say They Want Most In A Partner
What do humans really want in a long-term partner? If people were given a limited menu of characteristics from which to choose, what would be the non-negotiables? And how much of what we value in a partner is influenced by culture and how much is innate? In a nifty new report out of the University of Swansea in the U.K., researchers got 2,700 college students from five countries to progressively narrow down which characteristics were most important to them in a lifetime mate, and the one that emerged from all cultures was kindness. (2019)

Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex?
To the relief of many parents, educators, and clergy members who care about the health and well-being of young people, teens are launching their sex lives later. From 1991 to 2017, the Centers for Disease Control finds, the percentage of high-school students who’d had intercourse dropped from 54 to 40 percent. (2018)

Fewer Teens are Having Sex as Declines in Risky Behavior Continue
A survey led by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention showed as steep decline of high-school-age teens who are having sex has dropped over the last two years. This trend includes younger students, African Americans and Hispanics. Adds evidence about ongoing reductions in risky teen behavior by teenagers who are becoming pregnant, smoking, drinking alcohol, and using marijuana. (2018)

3/4 of Young People Want Relationship Education in School to Help Them Understand How to Build Lasting Relationships as an Adult
The Centre for Social Justice and Family Stability Network in the UK commissioned an opinion poll of young people aged 14-17 in England to understand their iews on changes to the provision of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE).
RSE should reflect the ambitions of young people, not just the here and now.
Achieving a lasting relationship in adult life is just as important to young people as their career ambitions.

  • Despite growing up in the shadow of widespread family breakdown, achieving a lasting relationship as an adult is still important to older teenagers.
  • Young people want to get married as adults, RSE shouldn’t ignore marriage.
  • There is a long way to go in understanding why marriage matters.
  • Achieving their relationship goals is harder than ever for young people. (2018)

Increasing Youths’ Relationship Confidence with Relationship Education
Youth relationship education aims to build youths skills to form and sustain healthy romantic relationships. A new study provides more evidence that Relationship Education programs can be effective at helping youth develop more confidence in their abilities to form and sustain healthy relationships. (2018)

Finding the fluoride: Examining How and Why Developmental Relationships are the Active Ingredient in Interventions that Work
In 2012, Junlei Li and Megan Julian argued that a large factor in the success of at-risk youth interventions is the degree to which those interventions promote what authors called “developmental relationships.” They asserted that “developmental interventions produce desirable outcomes if and only if such interventions enhanced developmental relationships.” (2018)