Draw the Line/Respect the Line

Draw the Line/Respect the Line is a 3-year evidence-based curriculum that promotes abstinence by providing students in grades 6, 7 and 8 with the knowledge and skills to prevent HIV, other STD and pregnancy. Using an interactive approach, the program shows students how to set personal limits and meet challenges to those limits. Lessons also include the importance of respecting others’ personal limits.

Category Program Features
Setting School based
Program Length 4–6 hours/year | 3 years
19 sessions total
Age Group Ages 12–14
Look Inside

Table of Contents
Sample Lesson

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Overview | Description | Population | Author | Who's Using


Draw the Line/Respect the Line is a 3-year evidence-based curriculum that promotes abstinence by providing students in grades 6, 7 and 8 with the knowledge and skills to prevent HIV, other STD and pregnancy. Using an interactive approach, the program shows students how to set personal limits and meet challenges to those limits. Lessons also include the importance of respecting others’ personal limits. 



Draw the Line/Respect the Line is designed to be used either by a classroom teacher or trained family life educator in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. The aim of the program is to reduce the number of students who initiate or have sexual intercourse, and to increase condom use among students who are sexually active. Using a fun, interactive approach, Draw the Line/Respect the Line shows students how to set personal limits and meet challenges to those limits. The curriculum also includes activities for students to do with their families.

Draw the Line/Respect the Line is sensitive to the needs of Latino youth. It was implemented in schools with large numbers of Latino youth, and these youth were consulted frequently during development. The student materials are provided in both English and Spanish.

  • In grade 6, the emphasis is on non-sexual situations in which youth may experience pressure, for example, to steal, use alcohol or smoke. The lessons feature limit setting and refusal skills in these contexts. Parent-child communication activities include discussion of cultural and family values and pressure situations for young people. Grade 6 has 5 lessons.
  • In grade 7, pressures regarding sexual intercourse are considered. The lessons feature short-term consequences of unplanned sex, information about STD and how to apply refusal skills in a party context. Parent-child communication activities include discussion of intentions to avoid having sex and getting out of risky situations. Grade 7 has 7 lessons.
  • In grade 8, the lessons feature an HIV-positive speaker, practicing refusal skills in dating situations, and a condom demonstration. Parent-child communication activities include discussion of HIV and its impact on those who are affected by HIV. Grade 8 has 7 lessons.

The program is delivered through role play, mini-lectures, brainstorming, games, small group work, an anonymous question box, videos, and guest speakers.

The curriculum is based on numerous principles:

  • Not having sex is the healthiest sexual limit for students in middle school.
  • Students can set sexual limits.
  • Students can be motivated to maintain their limits.
  • Students will encounter challenges to maintain their limits.
  • Students can overcome challenges to their limits.
  • Students who respect the limits of others will be less coercive.
  • Each student has unique needs; and condom use is essential protection for those who are sexually active.


Population Served & Setting

Draw the Line/Respect the Line is designed to be used in grades 6, 7 and 8. The program can also be used in a community setting if the setting allows for consistent attendance at the program sessions.


About the Lead Author

Karin K. Coyle, PhD, is Senior Research Scientist at ETR , Scotts Valley, California, where she serves as the lead investigator on a number of research and evaluation projects. She specializes in the development and evaluation of health promotion programs, particularly HIV, other STD and pregnancy prevention programs.

Over the past 15 years she has co-authored four research-based programs (Safer Choices, Draw the Line/Respect the Line, All4You!, and All4You2!), and has served as a principal or co-principal investigator on a number of school-based randomized trials to test the effectiveness of HIV, other STD and pregnancy prevention programs for youth.

Her current work focuses on adolescent relationships and their influence on sexual risk behavior and HIV and STI risk. She is the author of numerous professional articles in the field of health and sexuality education research.


Who’s Using?

ETR's effective, award-winning, evidence-based resources are used by schools, departments of education, youth groups, government agencies and clinics nationwide.

Some of the sites that have purchased Draw the Line/Respect the Line include:

  • Montana Department of Health & Human Services
  • Duval County Public Schools, Florida
  • Tulare Community Health Clinic, California
  • Womankind, Inc, Florida
  • Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
  • Garfield County Department of Human Services, Colorado
  • Healthy Futures of Texas
  • Mississippi State Department of Health
  • Mission West Virginia
  • Family Resource Center of Raleigh, North Carolina

Length | Elements | Staffing | Notification

Length of Program

The program consists of 19 lessons—5 lessons in Grade 6, 7 lessons in Grade 7, and 7 lessons in Grade 8. Each lesson is 45–50 minutes.


Program Elements

The Draw the Line/Respect the Line basic set includes a teacher’s guide and student workbooks for one classroom of 30 students for each of the targeted grades (6, 7 and 8). Both Spanish and English versions of the student activity sheets are included in the student workbooks.

Student workbooks are required for every student. Additional classroom workbook sets of 5 and 30 are available.

An enhanced set of materials is also available that includes supplemental materials to augment student learning, including DVDs, pamphlets and posters.

ETR also provides free downloads of pre- and post-tests and Adaptation Tools.


Staffing Requirements

This curriculum can be used by either classroom teachers or community-based educators. Educators interested in implementing this program should be skilled in using interactive teaching methods and guiding group discussions, and should be comfortable with the program content.


Parent/Guardian Notification

It is essential to inform parents and guardians regarding the nature and scheduling of this or any sexual health education program. Prior to implementation of the curriculum, families should receive written notice describing the goals of Draw the Line/Respect the Line and the nature of the content to be covered. Parents also should be given an opportunity to view the curriculum and related materials if they wish. The vast majority of parents want their children to receive appropriate instruction and be given the information and skills they need to protect their sexual health, but parents/guardians also must be allowed the chance to opt out or exclude their children from participating in the program, if they wish.

Theory | Logic Model | Evidence Summary | References


Draw the Line/Respect the Line is based on several social psychological theories, particularly Social Inoculation Theory and Social Cognitive Theory.

Key content covered by the program consists of:

  • Knowledge of pregnancy risk and prevention.
  • Knowledge about STD and HIV risk, prevention, transmission, treatment and consequences.
  • Perception of individual risk for pregnancy, STD and HIV and their consequences if teenagers engage in unprotected sex.
  • Knowledge of how to be abstinent or use birth control methods effectively and how to access health care information and contraception (including condoms).
  • Effective and ineffective refusal skills.
  • Social and peer norms, as well as personal attitudes about abstinence, sex, unprotected sex, condoms and contraception.
  • Refusal and communication skills in pressure situations in order to avoid pregnancy and STD.
  • Skills to obtain health care information and contraception from a clinic and use it.
  • Skills to communicate with parents or other adults about teen sexual activity and birth control.


Logic Model

The program logic model can be found here:

Logic Model (pdf)


Evidence Summary

Pilot Testing

Students in focus groups provided information about how youth think and feel about sex, as well as feedback about lesson ideas. Each lesson activity was tested initially in schools not formally part of the study. Then various activities were revised, and additional piloting of the lessons occurred. Finally, full sets of lessons for each grade were taught at 10 or more classrooms in another school district, and final revisions were made. Student feedback was used throughout the process to improve the lessons and make them enjoyable.

Research Design

In the original research study, 19 schools were randomly assigned to either receive the curriculum (10 schools), or continue with usual classroom activities regarding HIV, other STD and pregnancy prevention (9 schools). During the study the curriculum was taught by specially trained family life educators.

Data Gathering

The evaluation of the curriculum involved surveying students in the 19 study schools who had received parental consent to participate in the study. Surveys were completed before students received the program in grade 6, and at the end of grades 7, 8 and 9.


In a randomized controlled trial involving 19 schools funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (Coyle et al., 2004):

  • Boys who received Draw the Line/Respect the Line were significantly less likely than boys in the comparison group to initiate sex, had significantly greater knowledge, had stronger sexual limits, and put themselves in fewer situations that could lead to sex.
  • At 36-month follow-up, 19% of boys in the program had had sex compared to 27% in the control group.
  • There were no significant differences for girls except regarding peer norms. Girls receiving the curriculum perceived fewer peer norms supporting sex than girls in the comparison group. The surveys indicated that almost 30% of girls in the study in grade 8 had a boyfriend 2 or more years older, and that these girls were more likely to report having had sex. It’s possible that more instruction on the influence of older boyfriends on sexual behaviors, and more skill practice in handling potential power differentials and possible coercion, may help improve the results for girls.



Coyle, K., D. Kirby, B. Marin, C. Gomez, S. Gregorich. 2004. Draw the Line/Respect the Line: A randomized trial of a middle school intervention to reduce sexual behaviors. American Journal of Public Health 94 (5): 843-851.

Adaptation Guidelines | Other Tools | Pre/Post Tests | Policy

Adaptation Guidelines

ETR is a leader in developing adaptation guidelines to enable professionals to adapt evidence-based intervention programs for implementation in underserved communities, while maintaining fidelity to the intervention's core components. To produce the best adaptation tools, ETR works directly with the developer of each intervention to ensure that these tools are of the highest quality and meet the different needs of the field and end users, e.g., teachers, trainers, program mangers/staff, research teams, and funders.

Click the links below to view Adaptation Guidelines for Draw the Line/Respect the Line

Adaptation Green/Yellow/Red Guidelines (pdf)

Core Components (pdf)

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about program adaptations, please visit our Program Support Help Desk.

Read ETR's Adaptations Policy.


Other Implementation Tools

ETR also produces other tools to facilitate implementation. Click the link to view.

Fidelity Log Grade 6 (pdf)

Fidelity Log Grade 7 (pdf)

Fidelity Log Grade 8 (pdf)


Pre/Post Tests

Classroom teachers can use pre/post tests to examine whether short-term knowledge learning objectives have been met. A simple pre-test/post-test assessment design can be used to measure pre-instruction levels and post-instruction changes in student learning.

Your ability to detect student change using this survey may vary and can be affected by numerous factors (e.g., number and content of lessons students receive, student scores at pretest, student motivation and interest in topic and survey, etc.) Improvement on the All4You! Knowledge Survey between pretest and posttest can be viewed as supportive, but not definitive, evidence of the curriculum's impact on short-term knowledge learning objectives. A well-designed evaluation study (e.g., using a strong experimental design with a well-matched comparison group and adequate sample size) with more extensive measurement would be needed to provide stronger evidence of curriculum impact.

Grade 6 Survey (pdf)

Grade 6 Survey Answer Key (pdf)

Grade 7 Survey (pdf)

Grade 7 Survey Answer Key (pdf)

Grade 8 Survey (pdf)

Grade 8 Survey Answer Key (pdf)

Learn more about how ETR can help with your evaluation needs >>


For over 30 years, ETR has been building the capacity of community-based organizations, schools, school districts, and state, county and local agencies in all 50 states and 7 U.S. territories to implement and replicate evidenced-based programs (EBPs) to prevent teen pregnancy, STD/STI and HIV. Our nationally recognized training and research teams work in partnership with clients to customize training and technical assistance (TA) to address the needs of their agencies and funding requirements.

Virtual TOE mapETR’s Virtual Training of Educators (TOE) for Draw the Line/Respect the Line equips sexual health facilitators with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the program with youth.

All trainings align with ETR’s distributive learning process, an interactive experience that takes place over time. Core to this research-based approach is the acquisition of knowledge and development of skills, followed by the implementation of the program and educator self-reflection. During this process, ETR trainers engage learners through teaching strategies, interactive activities, modeling and follow-up support.

Training Components

All of the following components are critical for skill development and implementation success. Make sure you can commit about 10 hours of total time to the training experience for program excellence!

  • Priming Activities: Learn more about the theories that ground the curriculum and the research that highlights the program’s impact on the sexual health behaviors of youth. These activities, completed prior to Live Session 1, will help to get you acquainted with your program.
  • Live Sessions: Most of the learning happens live. Over the course of three 2.5 hour sessions spread out over three weeks, our experienced trainers will take you through the curriculum and help develop skills necessary to deliver Draw the Line/Respect the Line. The trainer will model best practices for implementation, build comfort with the subject matter, and tackle a variety of implementation challenges and strategies.
  • Intersession Activities: Between each live session, guided intersession activities will help participants to keep thinking about their evidence-based program and it’s implementation to continue the learning.
  • Practice Session: After the live sessions are over, it’s time to see what you know! A practice session, or teach-back, will be assigned to each participant and various opportunities for feedback will be provided.
  • Follow-up Support: The training is only the beginning. We offer follow-up support for the first three months after training, including additional resources and check-ins via email.

Training Goal

Educators will have the knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively implement the program with youth.