Try talking to a group of teens about issues of sexual and reproductive health and itís almost impossible to avoid the subject of healthy and unhealthy relationships.

Itís especially disturbing to listen to the number of teens who report that they all know someone (or several some ones) who have little understanding of what constitutes an unhealthy relationship. What is tolerated as ďnormalĒ can include a wide range of emotionally and even physically abusive behaviors.

Turning to the media landscape surrounding these young people, the media offer many examples of violence and sex as commonly paired elements in TV and movies. Violent imagery and sexual imagery are also commonly paired in video games and other forms of entertainment. Violence as part of a sexual relationship seems quite the common occurrence. Yet these media examples are rarely the subjects of classroom discussion or discussion with any concerned adult.

This section provides materials and resources designed to help teens take a closer look at the elements of both healthy and unhealthy relationships as directly observed in friends and classmates as well as in the media world. It also encourages teens to keep a close watch for warning signs in their personal relationships.

Sample Lessons Resources