The Role of Friends in Promoting Safer Sex



By the end of this lesson, participants will be able to:

1. Defend the proposition that if a friend’s behaviors put him or her at risk, a real friend will try to prevent the danger.

2. Identify possible responses they might have when a friend is at risk.

3. Apply different ways of taking action to reduce a friend’s risk.


Most sexuality education focuses on the individual’s responsibility for self and partner. However, by acknowledging the vital role of peers in determining a person’s attitudes and behaviors, many educators now use peer education effectively. Yet, young people are seldom urged to be proactive regarding a friend’s risky sexual behaviors, as they are in safety campaigns such as those regarding alcohol use, e.g., “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” This lesson encourages young people to consider whether a true friend needs to take a role in discouraging risky sexual behavior that could lead to a sexually transmitted infection or an unplanned pregnancy.

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