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You are reading an older version of this FlexBook® textbook: Human Biology Sexuality Teacher's Guide Go to the latest version.

Key Ideas

  • Sexual abuse of children takes advantage of a child's inability (due to age or maturity) to give informed consent.
  • The nature of the effects of abuse depend on the child's age and level of maturity, the nature and duration of abuse, and how the discovery and treatment of the situation is handled.
  • Sexual exploitation and abuse are ways people take unfair sexual advantage of other people for selfish reasons.
  • Rape is the most extreme form of coercion. It involves forcing another person into sexual interaction without their informed consent.


This section continues the discussion that was begun at the end of Section 4. It explores harmful sexual relationships and deals with the issues of exploitation and abuse, starting with sexual harassment. The first activity asks students to identify forms of sexual harassment, analyze their cause, and determine methods of prevention. Sexual abuse of children is defined, and the issue of informed consent is raised. Other forms of coercion, the most extreme of which is rape, are identified. The differences between rape, date rape, and statutory rape are explained, and ways of preventing rape are discussed. The final activity deals with the issue of how to make sure that your actions are not misinterpreted in a sexual situation, and that when you say stop, stop is what happens.



recognize and describe sexual harassment.

develop strategies to deal with this form of harassment.

examine the issue of child abuse.

distinguish between the terms informed consent, rape, and date rape.

identify ways to make sure that NO is understood.


child sexual abuse, date rape, incest, informed consent, prostitution, rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, statutory rape

Student Materials

Activity 5-1: Sexual Harassment

  • Activity Report

Activity 5-2: What Does “Stop” Mean?

  • Resource
  • Activity Report

Teacher Materials

Activity 5-1: Sexual Harassment

  • Activity Report Answer Key

Activity 5-2: What Does “Stop” Mean?

  • Activity Report Answer Key

Advance Preparation

See Activities 5-1 and 5-2 in the student edition.

Interdisciplinary Connection

Language Arts Role-playing and discussion groups help students develop communication skills and can lead to essay or journal writing. A Mini Activity involves debate.

Background Information

Sexual abuse and coercion are sensitive subjects. They represent real and serious problems about which people must be informed. People should also be helped to develop methods of dealing with the problem. But at the same time, the discussion of sexual abuse and coercion can be needlessly frightening to young adolescents. Combined with the alarms about and fear of pregnancy and STDs, the specter of abuse and coercion can easily generate an image that sexuality is a dangerous minefield. To keep matters in perspective, it needs to be stated that as real as these dangers are, the majority of people go through life without getting infected, harassed, or coerced.

The issue of incest has to be discussed with special sensitivity. Although the national hysteria over satanic practices and mass abuses of children has subsided, its reverberations persist.

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