Draw the Line/Respect the Line

NOTE: This study has ended. The curriculum is available through ETR Associates.


The epidemics of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV) that currently affect so many youth must be addressed. Despite adequate knowledge about how pregnancy and HIV transmission may occur and how to prevent them, many youth put themselves at risk through sexual behavior. When questioned, youth will often comment that sex “just happened.” Interventions must take into account the cultural, social and contextual aspects of sexual behavior.

CAPS and ETR Associates researchers developed a curriculum to assist sixth, seventh and eighth grade students in postponing sexual activity and using protection if they are sexually active. The curriculum has many characteristics that are shared by successful HIV prevention and sex education curricula: narrow focus, theoretical foundation, high interest activities, addresses social pressures on sexual behaviors, and provides modeling and practice of communication and negotiation skills. The objectives of the curriculum are that students will be able to set a personal sexual limit, describe their reasons for maintaining their sexual limit, identify problems that may arise in maintaining their sexual limit and describe how they will address those problems and maintain their limit.


The classroom curriculum was developed over a two year period. First, we did focus groups separately for boys and girls in 7th and 8th grade to learn more about how students thought and talked about sexual issues. Using our theories about what students needed to postpone sexual activity, we developed activities and then tested them in the classroom. Student reactions to the lessons were observed and they were asked for comments at the end of each lesson. Extensive modifications were made until the activities elicited high involvement from students and clearly met our objectives. Some lessons contain elements adapted from other curricula, but much of the curriculum is new.


Postponing sexual activity involves a number of skills, and the Draw the Line/Respect the Line curriculum focuses on these. The curriculum consists of 20 lessons given to sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Please see more information about the curriculum.

The currciulum is available through ETR publishing.


Evaluation of the curriculum involves a 36-month longitudinal randomized trial following 2829 middle school students. Following are surveys used as part of the evaluation.


Meet the CAPS and ETR staff who helped develop this curriculum.

Last modified: October 22, 2012