24Counteracting the trivialization of sexual exploitation
Issue 24 | Summer 2014
by Maude Cournoyer
Because of the various forms it takes and criminal activity that can be associated with it, sexual exploitation is complex and difficult to define. Sexual exploitation is associated with situations where one individual sexually abuses another person or uses this person for sex in exchange for goods or services. In most cases, when children or adolescents are involved in situations of sexual exploitation, power imbalances characterize the relationships between exploiters and exploited. In Québec, juvenile prostitution and procuring are forms of sexual exploitation of minors that are generally associated with street gangs. In this context, the sexual exploitation of minors is marked by absence of consent or consent that is not valid: the law does not recognize consent given by a minor in a situation of exploitation.
Some young people are attracted, amongst other things, by money or goods in exchange for sexual favours. Today’s consumer society can cause more adolescents to perceive this type of exchange as a way of satisfying needs that are otherwise out of reach. Some youth see that world as exciting and glamorous, while others tend to trivialize this activity and don’t necessarily consider the risks involved. This issue of the SexEducator aims to define the notion of consent to sexual activities and its components, and to expose the absence of consent in situations where minors are sexually exploited. It also provides tips for interventions with adolescents to counteract trivialization of sexual exploitation in the media and help vulnerable youth, some of whom risk involvement in prostitution.

See the activities suggested in this issue
1Activity 1
Images and messages alluding to the commodification of sexuality in videos

Critical group discussion of messages alluding to the commodification of sexuality in music videos and their consequences.

Educational goals:
  • Spot the stereotypes that allude to the commodification of sexuality in videos.
  • Understand how these stereotypes can interfere with the establishment of egalitarian relationships between boys and girls and trivialize sexual exploitation.

For secondary IV to V students

Duration: 75 minutes
2Activity 2
Reflections on truly consensual sexual  involvement

Discussion of scenarios to better understand sexual consent in different environment.

Educational goal:
  • Establish the importance of consent and respect for one’s own needs and desires and those of the other person when deciding whether or not to have sexual contact.

For secondary IV to V students

Duration: 75 minutes
Counteracting the trivialization of sexual exploitation
Issue 24 - Summer 2014 - by Maude Cournoyer
Sommaire du numéro EN
Sexual exploitation: Absence of consent

The commodification of sexuality in video clips and songs: Forms of sexual exploitation that must be talked about
  • Images and messages that glorify prostitution
  • Consequences of trivializing sexual exploitation in songs and videos

Juvenile prostitution: Understanding it to prevent it
  • Procuring
  • Male juvenile prostitution
  • Young people at risk for or directly affected by juvenile prostitution
  • Reasons for which young people are driven to prostitution
  • Risk factors
  • Protective factors
  • Consequences of prostitution

Actions for professionals: Recognizing and helping young people at risk or involved in prostitution
  • What you can do to help

Resources for adolescents or educators and other professionals concerning juvenile prostitution

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Other issues
  • Communication in adolescent couples
  • Toward improving adolescents' contraception use
  • Counteracting the trivialization of sexual exploitation
  • Talking sexuality with your parents
  • Our Romeos: All they think about is sex, right ?
  • The bi trend: Open mindedness or trivialization?
  • FLIRTING ON LINE: Toward a safe and fulfilling exploration of self and others
  • Youth and sexism, from inequality to indifference
  • Flirting with seduction
  • Sexual fantaisies during adolescence...
Issue 25 | Spring 2016
Toward improving adolescents' contraception use
by Marie-Andrée Bossé
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