What Is It?
Sadly sexual bullying can happen at any age. It is not restricted to adults. In fact, it is actually thriving among young adults and teens. Sexual bullying can start small but that doesn’t mean it can’t get worse. It can quickly turn into sexual harassment. Or even assault.
This is something that happens when adults are not around. This is usually why it can be hard to spot. Kids are great at hiding things from adults especially when they know it is wrong. It can be hard to recognize because it doesn’t leave anything physical behind.
A kid or young adult being sexually bullied could have quite a few things happening to them. They could be teased, cyberbullied, ignored, outcast, shamed or gossiped about.
Because this can be difficult to notice it is important to talk to your kids. Make sure they know they can come to you with any problems and to not be embarrassed. They need to know they won’t be judged or blamed.
Be sure to listen to your children.
Examples To Recognize
Since sexual bullying happens in many forms, it is important to have some examples. That way if you see it you recognize it for what it is.
- Callings someone bad names or names that are sexual in nature
- Commenting on someone’s sexuality or sexual activity
- Gesturing sexually
- Grabbing someone’s clothing (bra strap) or brushing against them sexually
- Making sexual jokes about someone
- Pressuring someone to sex or send sexual pictures
- Sending sexual text messages or pictures
- Spreading sexual rumors
- Touching or grabbing in a sexual way
- Writing sexual comments for others to see
Why Do They Do It?
Kids bully other people sexually, this is a fact. This happens for different reasons. It can happen because someone wants to be popular and they think that’s how it will happen. Some could be doing it for attention or to hide their own issues. They could be jealous of the other kid.
- To look mature. They could bully other kids sexually because they think it makes them look older. That way they look sexually experienced when they aren’t.
- Power. To feel like they have control when they don’t otherwise.
- Because others are doing it. Kids might see other kids sexually bullying and think they have to do it too. They want to be part of the crowd.