And rapists will be rapists, but that’s not okay.
Sexual harassment in high schools is a real issue, that is alarmingly ignored by many people in positions of responsibility. Teenage boys are able to harass teenage girls without any major consequences, and the problem just seems to be growing.
An increasing number of teenage girls are dreading going into school, due to the objectification and degradation they face at the hands of their male classmates, and most cases suggest that teachers and other members of school staff are unwilling to target the issue.
High achieving girls are academically suffering due to the intimidation they face from boys at school, which can cause them to frequently miss days of school. This may seem like a very third world probelem, where girls have very little access to education, but this is a problem frequently occurring in many schools across the UK and elsewhere. Unfortunately, most of the violation that young girls face is put down to ‘boys being boys’.
Not only are girls academically suffering, they are also suffering mentally. Many girls are targeted by groups of boys due to their advanced development, and the fact their bra size exceeds that of their peers. As a result, girls are becoming increasingly more likely to try and dangerously lose weight, as a way to modify their body. Girls are at risk of developing eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa in an attempt to remove unwanted attention, and gain some control over their body.
Teenage girls are frequently devolving eating disorders, which are the psychiatric disorders with the highest fatality rate, because, quite simply, ‘boys will be boys’.
What perhaps seems most shocking, is that the common misconception that media plays a strong role in influencing a girl’s self esteem and shaping how she perceives her body must look is being diverted. While many teenage boys find curvy figures, such as Kim Kardashain, Megan Fox and the type of women they would see in porn, more attractive than size zero catwalk models, teenage girls are frequently trying to look like the latter to diminish unwanted sexual attention.
Many girls are trying to steer away from what is perceived as ‘attractive’ so they can avoid being degraded and disrespected by their male peers. Noticeably, girls who develop more quickly have, on occasion, been seen to develop serious eating disorders from their attempt to decrease the size of their breasts, which were gaining unwanted attention,
Boy’s sexual behaviour in school is trypically being excused and played down. The topic of girls in education has been recently brought to light, most notably by figures such as Michelle Obama, however the challenge that girls face once they are in education are somewhat unknown. The lack of punishment for sexual harassment amongst people as young as 12 and 13 sends the message to girls that this is how they are supposed to be treated. This message has a seriously devastating affect on young girls self esteem and self worth.
If boys will be boys, where does that leave girls?