Sex Har: Crossing The Line


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Sex Har: Crossing The Line

  1. 1. Unit Area: Sexuality Grade level: Middle School-High School Time: 25-45 minutes depending on number of scenarios explored SEXUAL HARASSMENT National Health Education Standard NHES 2- Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health NHES 4-Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health or avoid or reduce health risks. NHES 7 Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks. NYS Guidance Document: Communication Skills (CM.C.1-CM.C.9) Functional Knowledge: Violence Prevention (VP.C.8, VP.C.9) Ready (Objectives): -Analyze how interpersonal communication affects relationships -Illustrate that sexual harassment is not always clear-cut. It may depend on several variables such as: a)Prior relationship of the two parties (strangers, good friends, boyfriend-girlfriend) b)Age of the parties (two teens, teen and young adult, teen and older man) c)Sex of the parties (two guys, two girls, guy and girl) d)Environment (alone or with others, school or party) e)Control or "power" imbalance between the two parties (teacher-student) f)Body language, gestures, facial expression, tone of voice, etc. Set (Preparation )Materials: A home made STOP sign with a handle Background Information: State that many (though not all) incidents of sexual harassment develop over time, often beginning with the offender repeatedly invading the victim's personal space. Explain that one way teens can protect themselves against sexual harassment and abuse is to recognize when someone is invading their "personal space", both literally and figuratively. Define personal space as an "invisible boundary" we all have. We usually aren't aware of it until someone crosses it. People's boundaries may be different and may vary for different relationships. For example, a relative can usually stand much closer to someone than a stranger. Time: 5 minutes for activity #1, "Personal Space" 15-20 minutes for activity #2, "Crossing The Line" Go (Procedure): Begin activity #1, "Personal Space," with two volunteers, a Male and female. They will face each other, approximately 10 feet apart, with an imaginary "line" drawn between them. The line represents a "boundary". Each person feels safe, secure, and comfortable when the other person is on their own side of the line. When the other person steps over the line onto their side, their "comfort zone" has been invaded. Begin by asking both people if they are comfortable standing this close to someone they do not know (generally they will not have a problem). Ask the male to take a step forward. Ask the female if this distance is still OK? Take another step. Still OK? Another? Another? When he is too close, usually 2-3 feet, tell him to STOP!!! Discuss: How did you feel when you personal boundary was invaded? (tense, tightening stomach, uncertain as to what would happen next, strong desire to move away, etc.) Recognizing these uncomfortable feelings when someone crosses the line is the first step in protecting ourselves against sexual harassment. The next step is to take action and this usually means telling the person to stop. This is
  2. 2. sometimes difficult to do because we may worry about hurting other people's feelings. However, your own safety and civil rights need to come before another person's feelings. In the next part of the activity, we will need some volunteers to help us illustrate when someone "Crosses the Line", not with their physical closeness, but with what they say or do. Activity#2: Instructions: When one person says something that you feel uncomfortable with, say "STOP" and hold up the stop sign. Situation A - Boy / Girl - in math class together. They do not know each other very well. Male says to female............. 1. " I like those jeans" (casually, making eye contact) 2. ("You look nice in those jeans.") (still casually, but you actually look at her jeans) 3. "I like the way you look in those jeans." (a bit more familiar) 4. "Those jeans look really good on you!" (emphasis on "really good") 5. "Your butt looks GREAT in those jeans!” (body language and tone are more sexual) Situation B - Same two volunteers, but this time Female says to male............ Other possible scenarios Situation C - Boy / Girl - total strangers. Male says to female.............. Situation D - Boy / Girl - been going out for over a year. Boyfriend says................. Situation E - Boy /Girl - been going out for over a year. Girlfriend say................... Situation F - Girl / Middle-aged Phys. Ed. teacher. Teacher says to girl..................... Situation G - Female Boss to male employee. Boss says............... Situation H - Female Teen to Female Teen................ Discussion / Processing: Why does the "line" get crossed at different times? What does it depend on? (ans: prior relationship, sex of both people, difference in age or status, personal tolerance for comments or behavior, if it is done repeatedly, etc.) Follow-up discussion: Definition of Sexual Harassment, types of harassment in schools, statistics, school policy, when and how to report, etc.
  3. 3. Role Play Handout Activity: Crossing the Line 1. " I like those jeans" (casually, making eye contact) 2. "You look nice in those jeans." (still casually, but you actually look at her jeans) 3. "I like the way you look in those jeans." (a bit more familiar) 4. "Those jeans look really good on you!" (emphasis on "really good", stare at the person’s butt) 5. "Your butt looks GREAT in those jeans!” (body language and tone are more sexual) Dom Splendorio President at Prime Time Health Consulting Greater New York City Area