Teenage sexual harassment

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Teenage sexual harassment

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Stephen Wallace: When it comes to the topic of sex, there are 2 things that are really important to talk with kids about. One is sexual harassment and the other is sexual violence. We know that just like adults, many young people are sexually harassed. We need to teach them what sexual harassment mean. Many of them don’t know. They may know that certain comments or suggestions, or questions feel uncomfortable but they don’t necessarily know that it’s crossing that line into what is illegal behavior. So we need to educate them about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. We need to educate them about when and how to ask for help. When it comes to sexual violence, particularly dating violence, we need to make sure that young people, both girls and boys know that it exists. That it exists quite a bit, in fact. That it is a national problem. We need to teach them the skills to say no, we need to help them figure out where their personal boundaries are, and prepare ahead of time to make the choices they want to make. We also need to let them know that there are avenues available for them to ask for help if they feel like they’ve been the victim of sexual violence. Sometimes sexual violence can result in a young person not getting the answer that they want about a perspective sexual behavior. And so it’s important as our children mature and are more likely to engage in sexual activity, that we help them define what it is that they want to do and what it is that they don’t want to do. And role-play with them how to say no if they reach a point where they don’t wish to engage in additional sexual behavior.

Watch Stephen Gray Wallace, MS Ed's video on Teenage sexual harassment...

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Stephen Gray Wallace, MS Ed

School Psychologist & Author

Stephen Gray Wallace, M.S. Ed., is president and director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Education (CARE), a national collaborative of institutions and organizations committed to increasing favorable youth outcomes and reducing risk. He is a consultant to summer camps on staff training and teen leadership programming and has broad experience as a school psychologist and adolescent/family counselor. Stephen is a member of the professional development faculty at the American Academy of Family Physicians and American Camp Association and a parenting expert at kidsinthehouse.com, NBC News Learn and WebMD. He is also an expert partner at RANE (Risk Assistance Network & Exchange) and was national chairman and chief executive officer at SADD for more than 15 years. Additional information about Stephen’s work can be found at StephenGrayWallace.com.

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