How It Happens

The messages that girls receive from the culture and the media influence them to believe that their power comes primarily from their sexuality. 5 They become sexual beings rather than human beings who have sex. Girls are groomed from birth to be appealing to men. They learn through fairy tales, television, and movies to be beautiful and agreeable, to dress provocatively, and to back down from conflict. They're taught that getting a man's attention is more important than their true self-expression.

Because this is such a normal and accepted part of our society, we don’t recognize it as a problem. This leaves girls vulnerable to use sex as the foundation for relationships and to consent to sex that they don’t want. 6

Specific examples of how girls use sex include:

I Don't Know

  • That I can say no 

  • How to say no

  • That I can stop things when I am no longer comfortable 

  • That I can disappoint a boy 

  • What to do

  • How to understand what is happening 

Not Knowing 

Many girls are not prepared for the sexual world before they are thrown into it. They get into situations they don't know how to escape. 

I Don't Want

  • To be left out

  • To have a fight

  • To be told I am a tease

  • To be broken up with

  • To feel lonely

  • To be mean

  • To be different 

  • Him to get angry with me

To Avoid Something

Many girls report that they have unwanted sex to avoid something that seems worse. 

I Want

  • To be popular

  • To be liked by this cute boy

  • To be accepted

  • To seem cool

  • To feel like everyone else

To Get Something

 Girls have unwanted sex as a way to get something they want. They do not want the sex, they want the imagined result of the sex.