skip navigation

ACTIVITY: The Continuum of Teen Sexual Coercion


  • Set up three large poster boards or flip sheet papers
    • Typical Things Partners Do
    • Not OK, But Not Sexual Coercion or Violence
    • Sexual Coercion or Violence
  • Make two sets of index cards with one of the items from the attached list on each card; also include several blank cards. It may make things simpler if you paperclip each card to its duplicate, since you will need to mix them up and then distribute both copies of each card. Cards can be changed to meet the specific needs of the group, for example, the items may be adapted to teen survivors
  1. Have participants work in pairs. Shuffle the cards and divide up them into even groups, and give each pair a stack of cards and the duplicates of those cards as well as a roll of tape (blue painter's tape is easy to remove). Tell the group that each card represents a reaction that a teen might have when their partner does not want to have sex and they do. Have the participants decide where each card belongs and tape it to the appropriate poster. Suggest that they can use the blank cards for other actions if they think some things have been left out.
  2. If the members of a pair "agree to disagree" about where a particular item should be posted, or if they believe that an item belongs in more than one category, they may use the duplicate cards to post copies of the same item in different locations.
  3. After all cards are posted, review each poster. Ask the group for reactions. Make it clear that there are no right or wrong answers, but do encourage discussion of why a particular card was placed on a particular poster, and where else it might have been placed.

Asks partner once more to consider having sex after having been refused

Does something to encourage a more positive atmosphere in hopes of having sex

Asks partner repeatedly to have sex after having been told "No"

Says, "If you don't want to have sex with me, you don't really love me and I think we should break up."

Whines and begs for sex

Begins sexual touching even if partner has said they are not interested

Acts huffy or withdraws if partner refuses sex

Says something to make partner feel guilty for not wanting sex

Promises a treat if partner will have sex

Begins behaviors that precede violence, like slamming walls or throwing things, if partner refuses to have sex

Verbally demeans partner, calls them frigid or withholding or selfish if they don't want to have sex

Tells partner they are sexually unappealing anyway after they say they don't want to have sex

Cries or acts depressed when partner refuses sex

Threatens to post explicit photos on MySpace in retaliation for partner refusing sex

Changes plans to punish partner: "We won't go to the party tomorrow, if you don't want to have sex tonight."

Engages in sexual activities that offend partner, like internet porn

Encourages partner to drink or drug in hopes of lowering resistance to having sex

Threatens to hurt partner

Threatens to spread hurtful rumors ("I'll tell everyone you had sex with me anyway")

Acts sexual toward someone else to encourage jealousy

Threatens to be unfaithful

Actually is unfaithful and blames it on partner

Physically holds partner down and has sex

Hits or otherwise physically harms partner when sex is refused

Threatens partner with a weapon when sex is refused

Uses a weapon to force sex (cuts partner with a knife, for example)

Is cruel and creates physical pain during unwanted sex

Goes out and gets drunk or high and blames it on partner's refusal to have sex

Refuses to use contraception or coerces partner into becoming pregnant

Has unprotected sex for the purpose of deliberately exposing partner to a sexually transmitted infection or HIV

Reviewed: March 22nd, 2016