It’s important to talk to children about sexual health, not just so that they have the information they need to avoid developing a sexually transmitted disease (STD), but also so they can recognize harassment when they are experiencing it. CNN reports that a recent study conducted by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has found that 48 percent of high school and middle school students questioned said they experienced some form of sexual harassment in the past year. “I think it’s wonderful that bullying is getting attention, but I would like sexual harassment in that conversation,” said Catherine Hill, the director of research at AAUW and one of the authors of the report.
The New York Times also reported on this study, and said that 56 percent of female and 40 percent of male respondents reported being sexually harassed by a peer. Most students said they did not report the incident to any adult or authority figure, and that it’s just a normal part of the day. These findings show that students are in need of more education regarding the kinds of interactions that are appropriate.