Sexual bullying

Learn about: Sexual bullying from Dorothy Espelage,...
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Sexual bullying

We are starting to see an influx of sexual bullying or sexual harassment, largely because parents and schools are not really talking to their girls and boys about their body, boundary issues, the type of verbal sexual banter that is going on in our schools. Ultimately, we really don't know why sexual bullying is increasing, but it might be because kids are being prematurely exposed to sexual content in the media or the influx of reality TV that is introducing more sexual content then kids know how to manage. If parents, in fact, are not have conversations with their kids about their sexual identity, about gender non-conformity, then we are leaving the media to educate them. I think we are seeing the result of that. Kids spreading sexual rumors. Using sexual types of verbal sexual teasing without really understanding what they are saying. I think the increase in sexual bullying and sexual harassment is a result of the influx at media, but at the same time, the lack of response from parents and schools to talk about these important issues with kids.

Learn about: Sexual bullying from Dorothy Espelage,...


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Dorothy Espelage

Professor of Child Development

Dorothy L. Espelage, PhD, is a Professor of Child Development in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  She is a University Scholar and has fellow status in Division 17 (Counseling Psychology) of the American Psychological Association.  She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University in 1997. She has conducted research on bullying, homophobic teasing, sexual harassment, and dating violence for the last 18 years. As a result, she presents regularly at regional, national, and international conferences and is author on over 90 professional publications.  She is co-editor of four published books including Bullying in North American Schools: A Social-Ecological Perspective on Prevention and Intervention and International Handbook of Bullying published by Routledge. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Counseling Psychology. She has presented thousands of workshops and in-service training seminars for teachers, administrators, counselors, and social workers across the U.S.  Her research focuses on translating empirical findings into prevention and intervention programming.  She is currently funded by the CDC for a randomized clinical trial of a bullying prevention program in 36 middle schools. She authored a 2011 White House Brief on bullying among LGBTQ youth and attended the White House Conference in 2011. She is also funded by National Science Foundation to develop better methods to assess bullying among adolescents and CDC and NIJ are funding a longitudinal study of predictors of bullying and dating violence among adolescents. Dr. Espelage has appeared on many television news and talk shows, including The Today Show; CNN; CBS Evening News; The Oprah Winfrey Show, Anderson, Anderson 360 and has been quoted in the national print press, including Time Magazine, USA Today, People, Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal. Her dedicated team of undergraduate and graduate students are committed to the dissemination of the research through various mechanisms.

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