Countering Normalization of Sexual Harm and Cyberbullying
Normalization is defined as the process by which an idea, concept or behavior becomes an accepted part of societal culture. Once this occurs, it is considered “just the way it is” and becomes viewed as beneficial or preferential. Sex used to sell things is nothing new, but the overwhelming magnitude of sex, or more accurately the “exploitive use of sex” to sell to younger and younger children is newer. There is growing concern about the variety of ways children are being treated as sexual objects and commodities.
Bullying causes harm to the victim, the doer and the bystanders who don’t know what to do and worry about being next. Advancements in technology allowed for the rapid growth of Cyberbullying. People bully and are bullied both on and off line and the worlds bleed into each other. The harm is amplified by technology. The use of technology to bully erases the geographic limits of the impact and the policies and laws that define it. Still it is a learned behavior – it can be ‘unlearned’ and prevented. Just because it’s the way it is, does not mean it’s the way it should be – it is not a joke nor a game and adult intervention and prevention policies are needed to shift the normal-lies.
Sexual Behavior Continuum
A tool to help adults or youth differentiate between healthy, appropriate, respectful and safe sexual behaviors from those that are harmful or illegal. Whether it’s prevention skills, safety tips, or building protective factors; too often we toss out floatation devices - or give swimming lessons – to children, teens & adults who are trying to swim in a pool full of sexual (cyber & otherwise) toxic waste.