Promoting Sexual Health - An ETR Associates Publication. An innovative curriculum designed to 1) reduce unintended pregancy, 2) Prevent sexually transmitted infection, and 3) improve sexual cxperience.Photo of book cover

The curriculum is written for sexuality and STI/HIV educators who work with young adults 18-24 years old. This group has the highest unintended pregnancy and STI rates of any age group. Historically, sexual health curricula for this audience have focused primarily on preventing unintended pregnancy and or STI/HIV. Promoting Sexual Health (PSH) adds a third goal, improving the quality of sexual experience.


  • Goal 1: Reducing Unintended Pregnancy

  • PSH increases awareness that having sex without contraception is likely to lead to pregnancy over time, addresses the common obstacles to using contraception consistently and correctly, and emphasizes LARCs – long acting reversible contraceptives.

  • Goal 2: Reduce STI/HIV Transmission

  • PSH increases the perception of risk of contracting STI/HIV when having unprotected sex with multiple and concurrent sexual partners, addresses the barriers to using condoms and having fewer partners, and emphasizes condom use, mutual monogamy and STI testing.

  • Goal 3: Improve the quality of sexual experience

  • PSH helps young adults become clearer about what they do and do not want to do sexually under what conditions and with whom, increases their skills to communicate what they do and do not want to do with their partners, and increases their skills to please their partners.

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Founded in 1981, ETR is a private nonprofit corporation whose mission is to maximize the physical, social and emotional health of individuals, families and communities by advancing the work of health education and social services providers through high-quality research, publications, information resources, training and programs. LEARN MORE ABOUT ETR >

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ETR and the authors have a 25 year history of developing and evaluating curricula that actually reduce sexual risk by helping people avoid unwanted sex, reduce their number of sexual partners and increase condom and contraceptive use.

Individual Authors

Vignetta Charles, PhD
Douglas Kirby, PhD
Gina Lepore, BA
James Walker, BS
Karin Coyle, PhD


Although this version has been extensively pilot-tested and reviewed, we consider this a work in progress. Thus, as we continue to implement it, we may make changes over time and we very much welcome your suggestions and feedback based on your experience. At this time you can send comments to Karin Coyle; shortly, you can send feedback and share implementation on Facebook.