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Healthy Relationships

Statistics & Trends

Youth in Arkansas are faced with the highest rates of teen pregnancy and bullying in the entire United States. According to the CDC, Arkansas has the highest rate, at 26.7 percent, of high school students bullied on school property. In Arkansas, 47% of males and 45% of female students in 9th through 12th grade have had sexual intercourse. According to Aspire Arkansas, Arkansas is ranked highest nationwide in teen pregnancy rates. For example, in 2016, the teen birth rate was 33 per 1,000 in our state. One in four teenagers, ages 15 to 19, will give birth in Pulaski County. This is 1.5 times higher than the national average. At the core of every human is the desire for connection, belonging and love. If the youth in our community have the education and skills to have healthy relationships and avoid risky behaviors then bullying and teen pregnancy rates will go down. Relationship education, in general, has an impressive and growing body of research pointing to its effectiveness. To date, 25 peer-reviewed studies show statistically significant evidence of positive behavioral impact for students with all levels of sexual experience. We are confident that our outcomes will align with the statistical data presented by The Center for Relationship Education (CFRE). The Real Essentials curriculum meets targets for educational outcomes for both the Tool to Assess the Characteristics of Effective Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs (TAC) and SMARTool assessment tools. Real Essentials is modulated by topic to provide a flexible scope and sequence that best meets the target audience. These topics crosswalk with the 17 TAC Characteristics and 9 SMARTool targets. Content is aligned with research and supported by ongoing partnership with the University of Denver.

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