Sexual exploitation comes in many forms. Whether it is street harassment, rape, or molestation, the actions and intentions of the attacker(s) are equally as vile. It‘s not just the fact that sexual assault is an invasion of privacy, making it such an awful thing, but the impact on the victim, the horrible consequences that this person has to face for the rest of their life. If people were brought up knowing the outcome and aftermath of sexual harassment, maybe they would think twice before stooping down to that level of atrocity. Not only is sexual harassment overlooked by society as a thing of unimportance, but it is said to be “instigated” by the victim, as if they were drawing attention upon themselves.

The literal definition of sexual harassment is unwanted sexual attention or coercion of a sexual nature. This being, the person on the receiving end of sexual assault couldn’t have been “asking for” that type of attention, otherwise the action couldn’t have legally been classified as such. The human body has been over sexualized throughout time to a point of physical harassment and judgment based on one‘s physique, which leads to the question of ―What draws unwanted sexual attention from others?

Humans, from the beginning of time, have been sexual beings. This does not mean, despite our desire to share love with others that all humans need sexual interaction to function properly. Actually, the stimulation be- hind sexual harassment comes from an imbalance in hormones, thoughts of superiority towards others, or discrimination coming from the perpetuator. Other mental disorders or abusive backgrounds can lead to one becoming a sexual abuser, and simply the customs or upbringings that a person takes part in highly influences their thoughts toward others.

So, what‘s the answer? Obviously there is no direct solution for this complication, but we, as humankind can always improve what we teach to our youth, and how to value and respect others with kindness and fairness. Sexual harassment also touches on what equality means to our culture in the present day, and reflects how much we promote isonomy between both individuals and groups of people. This entails equilibrium between genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and age groups alike, a symbol of unity upholding our generation of diversity and differing opinions intertwined.

Courtesy shows the simple compassion and appreciation that we share with each other and, in return receive an equal amount of respect. Being courteous is not just being submissive and humble, but showing that you truly care about others and are willing to help strengthen their self-esteem and well-being with positive actions. By supporting courtesy throughout the world, we will be able to build a society that functions as a whole, and maybe even suppress sexual harassment altogether. It all starts with a small act of respect.

xoxo, Amy

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