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Tag: sexual harassment
  • "Emphasize that since catcalling itself is the opposite of polite, there’s no need to smile, laugh, or engage in conversation with the harasser."


    Catcalling and other forms of sexual harassment start much earlier than many people think: a recent study found that 1 in 10 girls have been catcalled before their 11th birthday and a recent study has found that 1 in 6 girls in elementary and secondary school have experienced sexual harassment. And while some people say that girls should just ignore catcalling, Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald, the Girl Scouts’ Developmental Psychologist, explains that it has detrimental effects on girls, often making them feel unsafe and ashamed of their bodies in public. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Two new books for tweens explore the little-discussed but widespread problem of sexual harassment in middle school.

    The rise of the #MeToo movement in 2017 brought much-needed attention to the widespread problem of sexual harassment of adult women. There has been little discussion, however, about the harassment of tween and teen girls by their peers, and how the way we respond to that harassment shapes what girls and boys think is socially acceptable. With a nationwide study finding that 56% of girls in grades 7 to 12 report experiencing sexual harassment at school, authors have recently began to explore this important topic in their works for middle grade readers. And, whether read together at home or at a book club or in a classroom, such books provide an excellent opportunity for parents and educators to start timely and essential conversations about harassment and boundaries with tween girls and boys.  Continue reading Continue reading

  • 56% of girls say they have been sexually harassed at school, but little is being done to help them and 79% of schools claim there were zero incidents of sexual harassment during the entire school year.

    For many women, their first experience with sexual harassment doesn't happen in college or at a job: it happens when they are schoolgirls. Among girls in grades 7 to 12, one national study found that 56% of experienced sexual harassment at school, and the impact of this harassment on girls' well-being was often substantial with 22% reporting trouble sleeping and 37% not wanting to go to school as a result. Adults are sometimes hesitant to talk about this topic in middle school, but there's increasing evidence that these discussions about boundaries, respect, and consent can pay off in unexpected ways. "Sexual and gender-based harassment can be difficult subjects to broach, but abuse thrives on silence," writes Dr. Jasmine D. Williams, a research scientist at the Committee for Children. "By taking harassment seriously, educators and families help empower students to address [these] issues." Continue reading Continue reading

  • "We all have a responsibility to raise boys and girls who treat every person with equal respect and dignity.”

    No matter how much we try to protect them, kids regularly encounter sexist and objectifying language and behavior at school, online, watching television, or even just walking down the street. Even kids who haven't encountered sexual harassment personally have likely heard about the widespread problem at school or in the media. While it’s important to talk to all children about this topic, the issue is particularly important for girls. “This kind of objectifying talk... raises girls to believe that their bodies are literally up for grabs — that their appearance is the most valuable asset they have,” says Girl Scouts’ Developmental Psychologist Andrea Bastiani Archibald. Fortunately, while this topic can be a challenging one, the Girl Scouts have offered four great tips to parents on how to talk to kids in an age appropriate way about sexual harassment: what it is, why it’s wrong, and what each of us can do to help put an end to it. Continue reading Continue reading

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