Do you remember ever being taught how to maintain a healthy relationship? Much like how to do taxes or choose the right health insurance, this vitally important day-to-day skill was largely looked over during sex education. “Anyone can have sex, but having a relationship, one that is healthy and based on respect and trust takes work and practice.” explains Macklin. “Young people need to be able to learn about relationship dynamics and communication skills so that they can negotiate sexual relationships.”
And that includes respecting one another. “Stealthing and birth control sabotage are issues that weren’t discussed years ago; in fact, the terms only recently came into usage in the last handful of years,” says Stephanie Nilva, executive director of Day One, “the primary voice of expertise in New York City on the issue of dating abuse and domestic violence among youth.”
Something that had yet to exist 20 years ago, online harassment has risen to prominence over the past few years, especially sexual harassment. “Conversations in schools today would include the use of technology as a tool to harm others, such as ‘slut-shaming’ and sexual harassment online, nonconsensual pornography, or revenge porn,” notes Nilva. Unfortunately, this has become so prevalent, she says, that many legal cases have been brought on the subject, and legislation has been proposed or passed in many states.