The Dibble Institute: Love Notes (2.1)

Love Notes is geared towards older teens and young adults who are at risk of an unplanned pregnancy, troubled relationships, or who are already pregnant or parenting.
Love Notes aims to help young people make wise relationship and sexual choices—choices that will help them, rather than create barriers, for achieving their education, employment, relationship, and family goals.

While focusing heavily on healthy relationship concepts and skill building, Love Notes v2.1 (2016) incorporates significant content on sexual decision-making, medically accurate STI and pregnancy prevention, pacing of relationships, and planning for choices. As such, it represents a unique approach to pregnancy prevention and meets the National Sexuality Education Standards. The course, thanks to a rigorous federally funded evaluation, has been added to the Office of Adolescent Health’s registry of Evidence Based Programs.

Program Objectives

As a result of participating in classes that use this curriculum, students will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the risks and lasting consequences of becoming an adolescent parent or becoming infected with HIV or another STD.

  2. Recognize that abstaining from sexual activity or using contraception are the only ways to avoid pregnancy, HIV and other STDs.

  3. Conclude that factual information about conception and protection is essential for avoiding teenage pregnancy, HIV and other STDs.

  4. Demonstrate effective communication skills for remaining abstinent and for avoiding unprotected sexual intercourse

  5. Build models and confidence for healthy relationships.

  6. Strengthen intimate partner violence prevention.


Love Notes is an activity and media-based approach to health relationship and pregnancy prevention education. The 13 lesson program uses hands-on activities as well as popular music, movies and videos to appeal to youth of all learning styles. Love Notes builds skills and knowledge for healthy and successful relationships with partners, family, friends, and co-workers. It is designed to help young people (16- 24 years of age) make wise relationship and sexual choices.

Key topics include:

  • Knowing yourself—personality style, baggage, expectations, mapping your future

  • Forming and maintaining healthy relationships—knowledge, skills, smart steps

  • Frameworks for assessing relationships and making decisions

  • Recognizing unhealthy relationships and responding to dangerous ones

  • Effective communication and conflict management skills—the same soft-skills young people need to succeed at work

  • Intimacy, sexual values, pacing relationships and sex, and planning for choices

  • Unplanned pregnancy and relationship turbulence through the eyes of a child

  • The Success Sequence—how the order of school, commitment, and babies impacts your future

Project Director/Principal Investigator

Love Notes has been evaluated at the University of Louisville and found effective as an innovative pregnancy prevention strategy for at-risk youth. Federally funded, the study tested Love Notes’ innovative approach against traditional health/body based methods. The course, thanks to a rigorous federally funded evaluation, has been added to the Office of Adolescent Health’s registry of Evidence Based Programs.

ETR: Draw the Line/Respect the Line

The Draw the Line/Respect the Line curriculum helps students develop personal sexual limits and practice the skills needed to maintain those limits when challenged. Healthy sexual limits will keep youth safer from HIV, other STDs and unplanned pregnancy. This 19-lesson curriculum is designed to be used either by a classroom teacher or trained family life educator in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

  • In Grade 6, the emphasis is on situations in which youth may be pressured to steal, use alcohol or smoke. The 5 lessons feature limit setting and refusal skills in a nonsexual context.

  • In Grade 7, pressures regarding sexual intercourse are considered. The 7 lessons feature short-term consequences of unplanned sex, information about sexually transmitted diseases and applying refusal skills in a party context.

  • In Grade 8, the 7 lessons feature an HIV-positive speaker, practicing refusal skills in dating contexts and a condom demonstration.

Draw the Line/Respect the Line Evaluation

This study involved the development, implementation, and evaluation of a theoretically based, HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention curriculum for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. Key study outcomes include postponement of sexual involvement and, among those who were sexually active, use of condoms and the determinants of these behaviors. The study was a collaborative effort with the University of California, San Francisco Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. For more information on our evidence-based programs, click here.

Project Director/Principal Investigator
Karin Coyle

Funded by
National Institute of Mental Health (via subcontract with UCSF)