Sexual harassment might sound like an issue that affects adult women, but global surveys show that young women young girls, in fact are no strangers to unwanted attention. Street harassment can feel anxiety-producing regardless of age, but sexual harassment can also occur much closer to home. In fact, recent studies show that American middle and high school students face sexual harassment regularly. A study conducted at the University of Illinois followed 1, middle and high school students over a five-year period to examine the links between sexual harassment and bullying. In a national survey of year-olds, Making Caring Common MCC found that misogyny and sexual harassment appear to be pervasive among young people. Middle and high school students appear to be desensitized to sexual harassment. The first step is to provide specific definitions and talk openly about the various forms of harassment and misogyny that teens might face at school.
Sexual harassment and abuse is an abuse of power.
This needs to end now! You have control over your own bodies and have the right to say NO! Kids and teens you can no longer continue to keep quiet. When you report sexual harassment and abuse, you stop it for yourself and others! Yet it does take place in middle school. It's important to understand that the abusive use of power which is learned behavior, starts at a very young age. The METOO campaign on social media caught on very quickly with millions of women coming forth and telling their stories of sexual harassment and abuse. Boys catcalled and groped girls in the hallways. Boston students were not alone.
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Even if you've never been bullied or harassed, chances are you know someone who has. Harassment can be a big problem for kids and teens, especially when smartphones, online messaging, and social media sites make it easy for bullies to do their thing. When bullying behavior involves unwanted sexual comments, suggestions, advances, or threats to another person, it's called sexual harassment or sexual bullying.
What are some examples of sexual harassment that happens to teens at school? We are all sexual beings, from the cradle to the grave. Even as infants and toddlers, it can help to learn some sexuality basics, such as the proper names for one's body parts. As our children develop sexually, they become even more curious about their bodies, about gender, and about sex. In late elementary school, this sexual awakening manifests in some unpleasant ways. Boys especially begin to talk more frequently about girls' bodies, making demeaning comments and unwanted advances.