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What Is Sexual Harassment?


How teens can recognize and deal with sexual harassment.

By Eric Metcalf, MPH



A new girl starts at a high school and soon begins dating a guy. They break up. Other students start calling her names and spreading sex-related rumors about her. Even though her teachers know what's going on, they ignore it.


This isn't just bullying. It's sexual harassment. And if this happens to you, you shouldn't put up with it.


Here's what you need to know about sexual harassment, and how to deal with it.


What Does Sexual Harassment Look Like?


Sexual harassment comes in many forms, says Susan Fineran, PhD. She's a professor at the University of Southern Maine who studies this problem.

南缅因大学研究这一问题的教授Susan Fineran博士说“性骚扰有很多种形式”。

Sexual harassment includes:


* Name calling. Insults related to a person's sexuality are a form of sexual harassment. This includes calling someone a "slut," "gay," or a "fag," Fineran says. It doesn't matter who's saying it, or whether the person being harassed is gay or straight, male or female. What matters is that you're using those words to insult them -- that makes it harassment.

* 与性取向有关的侮辱是性骚扰的一种形式。这包括称某人为“荡妇”、“同性恋”,Fineran说。不管是谁说的,或者被骚扰的人是同性恋还是异性恋,男性还是女性。重要的是,你用这些话来侮辱他们——这就是骚扰。

* Unwanted touching. If someone touches a girl's breasts and she's not OK with it, it's harassment. If someone grabs or hits a guy in the genitals -- even as a prank -- that's harassment, too.

* 不必要的接触。如果有人触摸一个女孩的胸部,她不同意,这是骚扰。如果有人抓住或打了一个男人的生殖器——即使是恶作剧——那也是骚扰。

* Unwanted behaviors. This includes someone asking you on a date or pressuring you for sex repeatedly after you've said no. If someone stalks you, gets in your personal space, or acts threateningly, that may be a form of sexual harassment, too.

* 不受欢迎的行为。这包括有人要求你和他约会,或者在你拒绝之后一再向你施加性压力。如果有人跟踪你,闯入你的私人空间,或者做出威胁的行为,那也可能是一种性骚扰。

* Pressure from authority figures. Harassment doesn't just come from other teens. Adults may sexually harass you, too. If a teacher offers to give you a better grade -- or a boss offers a better work shift -- in exchange for sex or some kind of physical favor, that's harassment. It's still "absolutely" harassment if a teacher is just looking or making comments "in a sexual way that makes the student uncomfortable," says Melissa Holt, PhD, an assistant professor at Boston University.

* 来自权威人士的压力。骚扰不仅仅来自其他青少年。成年人可能也会性骚扰你。如果老师提出给你一个更好的分数——或者老板提出给你一个更好的轮班——以换取性行为或某种身体上的好处,那是骚扰。波士顿大学助理教授Melissa Holt博士说,如果老师只是“以一种让学生感到不舒服的性方式”观看或发表评论,这也是“绝对的”骚扰。

* Hassling. If a classroom is mostly made up of guys who start picking on one of the few girls during class and making her life uncomfortable, that could be termed sexual harassment, Fineran says.

* 打扰。Fineran说,如果一个教室里的男生在课堂上对少数几个女孩中的一个下手,使她的生活不舒服,那就可以被称为性骚扰。

Harassment often takes place in person. But it happens online too -- like if someone emails or texts photos of you in which you're not dressed or you're in a sexual situation, Holt says.


Take Action to Protect Yourself


If you feel like you're being sexually harassed at school, here's the first step to making it stop: Call it sexual harassment, not bullying, Fineran says.


The government has clearly told schools that they are responsible for stopping sexual harassment at school, she says. You could file a federal lawsuit if a school doesn't do its job to protect you from sexual harassment. That's a very big deal. So your school may take your concern more seriously if you call it sexual harassment.


And remember, the law protects you so that no one can retaliate or take revenge for you reporting him or her.


You can take these other steps to confront sexual harassment at school, Fineran says:


* Speak up. Tell your harasser to stop. Say that the words or actions are making you uncomfortable.

* 说出来。告诉骚扰你的人停下来,告诉他那些语言或行为让人很不舒服。

* Keep a record. Take note of who harassed you, what the person said or did, and how you responded. Write down when and where it happened. Keep any harassing emails, texts, or online postings, too.

* 作记录。记下来谁骚扰你,骚扰者说了或做了什么,以及你如何回应,写下来它发生的时间和地点,保留所有骚扰邮件、短信或在线帖子。

* Tell a parent or trusted adult. Sometimes it's hard to know whether events cross the line from teasing to sexual harassment. Talking to an adult can help you figure out what's happening and how to deal with it. If a boss starts scheduling you for early in the morning or late at night so the two of you are working alone, an adult in your life should know.

* 告诉父母或信任的成年人。有时候,很难判断事件是否越过了戏弄和性骚扰之间的界限。和成年人交谈可以帮助你弄清楚发生了什么,以及如何处理。假如老板把你安排在清晨或深夜,这样你们俩就可以单独工作了,此类事情你生活里的成年人应该知道。

* Report it. Tell a teacher, staff member, or your school principal. Share your records of what has happened. If the people at your school aren't helpful, then tell the school's superintendent. Your parents can help with this.

* 报告。告诉老师、工作人员或你的学校校长,分享你所发生的事情的记录,如果你学校的人帮不上忙,那就告诉学校的负责人,你的父母可以帮你。

* Go legal. If you don't get relief, consider whether a lawsuit is necessary. Again, your parents should be involved in this.

* 求助于法律。如果你没有得到救济,考虑一下是否有必要提起诉讼。再说一次,你的父母也应该参与进来。

* Tell your boss. If your boss is the problem, then tell his or her boss. Businesses can be sued for sexual harassment, too, and many will take action if they're concerned about a lawsuit. If you are afraid to do this alone, get your parents or another trusted adult involved.

* 告诉你的老板。如果问题出在你的老板身上,那么就告诉他/她的老板。企业也会因为性骚扰而被起诉,如果担心被起诉,很多企业会采取行动。如果你害怕独自做这件事,让你的父母或其他信任的成年人参与进来。

* Consider quitting if you feel unsafe.

* 如果你觉得不安全考虑辞职。

How You Can Avoid Being the Harasser


If you're checking someone out, joking with your friends, or being persistent in asking for a date, is that harassment? It may sometimes seem tricky to tell. Here are some pointers:


* Remember where you are. Jokes or comments that you could make with your close buddies may not be OK with someone you don't know as well, Holt says.

* 记住你在哪里,Holt说,你和亲密伙伴讲的笑话或评论,对于不认识的人可能难以接受。

* Don't label people. Never call anyone a "slut," and never use "gay" as an insult.

* 不要给别人贴标签。永远不要叫任何人“荡妇”,也不要用“同性恋”作为侮辱。

* Hands off. Don't touch people -- especially in a personal or sexual manner -- unless they have told you it's OK to do so.

* 不要触碰别人——尤其是私人的或性的方式——除非他们告诉你可以这样做。

* Be respectful. If someone asks you to stop doing something that's bothering them, stop immediately. It doesn't matter if it's someone you're dating or someone you don't know -- if they say "stop," stop.

* 尊重他人。如果有人让你停止做让他们感到被骚扰的事情,立即停止。不管对方是你正在约会的人还是你不认识的人——如果他们说“住手”,立马住手。

* Don't spread rumors. Respectfulness also means not spreading rumors. Don't share personal details or sexy photos that would embarrass someone.

* 不要散布谣言。尊重也意味着不散布谣言,不要分享让别人尴尬的个人细节或性感照片。

* Watch for signals. If someone seems uncomfortable or afraid when you're trying to start a conversation or ask for a date, stop.

* 注意信号。当你试图开始聊天或请求约会时,如果对方看起来不舒服或害怕,那就停下来。







--- 医大医院·九江

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