Stop what you’re doing right now and go listen to Radio Lab’s recent 3 part series “In the No” (here’s the link to episode 1. Beware, strong language and some graphic detail about sex). Not often does something leave me speechless. This did. I still am thinking about this weeks after hearing it for the first time. Some aspects made my skin crawl. Some aspects made me question everything I thought I knew about consent.
The year 2017 gave rise to a powerful new movement, the “#metoo” movement. Decades of sexual harassment, abuse, trauma and exploitation are being uncovered and a global reckoning has emerged. It is a thrilling and important cultural revolution that we are witnessing—the discussions and consequences surrounding sexual harassment and abuse of power have been long overdue. In the midst of stories of sexual violence allegedly (as few have gone through judicial system other than the court of public opinion) perpetrated by high profile public figures (Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Kevin Spacey to name a few), there have also been a few stories profiled in popular media which blur the lines between sexual assault and poor communication regarding consent.
“I don’t need to be tested for STDs, I only date other girls,” is a statement I hear at least once a week in clinic from an adolescent or young adult female. There are lots of statistics, clinical practice guidelines, and overall medical attention surrounding health consequences of men who have sex with men, but what about these patients? Don’t the ladies deserve some attention?
One of the best parts of my job is when I get to speak to groups of teens about fun topics. Recently I talked with a group of 8th graders about healthy relationships.
What words come to mind when you think of healthy relationships? Here’s my list:
- Honesty and trust – feeling comfortable sharing your thoughts, dreams, etc. without worrying that your secrets will be shared with other people
- Equality – no one has more power in the relationship than the other
- Individuality – meaning you are able to maintain your own interests, friends, etc. without having to change them for your partner
- Acceptance of partner’s boundaries
- Safety – feeling fear in a relationship is never ok
Once again, it is prom season. It’s hard to find a new angle to discuss proms, but fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) I have come across something that’s relatively new – Promposals. You know, the elaborate production that goes in to asking someone to be your date at the school dance. Yes, it’s a thing and it’s all over social media.
This week, we’re zooming in on the topic of relationship violence in honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. If you just did a double-take, that’s right: though relationship violence is often considered an adult issue, it can affect people of all ages, including teenagers.
How many teens does relationship violence affect? Read more