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As youth are using the internet in greater numbers than ever before, it is important to be aware of their vulnerability online (Ybarra, Leaf, & Diener-West, 2004). A Girl Scout Research Institute study found that 30% of teenage girls who used the internet (a majority who used the internet daily) had been sexually harassed while they were in a chat room (Mc Master et al. Teen girls in this situation often felt helpless in how to respond to, for example, requests for bra sizes, being shown photos of naked men, or inappropriate comments or questions concerning their sexuality. In a recent study, common types of in-school sexual harassment were reported (by over 200 ninth graders) to be School is not the only place teens experience inappropriate sexual behaviors. that teaches girls ways to lead safer lives at home, in relationships, online and in their communities, Advice: Lists a number of online articles about sexual harassment—advisable for teens and parents to view together, American Association of University Women: A resource for parents and educators, [22 March 2013]Palo Alto Medical Foundation: A resource defining sexual harassment and school policy—a resource for both parents and youth, School.com: A workshop available for educators to use (must be purchased) to teach 9 grade teens about sexual harassment and how to deal with it, Take on Sexual Harassment: Introduces a pilot curriculum to teach teens about sexual harassment and ways to prevent it at school and work, For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office. Teen employment in the United States is among the highest rate of any industrialized nation (Arnett, 2004). This document is FCS2249, one of a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension. In a more recent study of high school girls, over half (52%) had experienced sexual harassment in work settings (Fineran & Gruber, 2009). Impact of sexual harassment victimization by peers on subsequent adolescent victimization and adjustment: A longitudinal study. Keynote speech Children Youth and Families At-Risk Annual Conference, May 25, 2005. Overall, females felt more upset and threatened by an experience of sexual harassment in the workplace than male teens (Fineran, 2002).
Advocates for positive youth development have worked to expose and transform the sexual toxicity of our popular culture—one that can potentially poison our youth if we do not teach them a healthy view of sexuality (Garbarino, 2005).
Sexual harassment of teens can occur anywhere—in middle and high schools (Lee, Croninger, Linn & Chen, 1996), in the workplace (Fineran, 2002; Fineran & Gruber, 2009), and in the community (for example, neighborhoods or the internet).
Sexual harassment happens not just between the sexes, but also among girls or just boys (Petersen & Hyde, 2009).
Sexual harassment harms the sexual integrity of teens in their peer relationships.
A definition of sexual harassment is unwelcome attention of a sexual nature, occurring through verbal and/or physical interaction.