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Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Tips For Counseling Adolescents On Resisting
 Coercive Attempts At Sexual Activity

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Counseling Teens:                         

Ask questions about unwanted sexual activity.

  • Has anyone ever forced you to have sex?
  • Have you ever had sex when you really didn’t want to?
  • Can you tell me what happened?

Explain the concepts of "consent" and "submit"

  • When a person has sex because they are afraid, it is not is submission. 

Discuss concept of "coercion."  These are tactics used to   manipulate a person into doing something they do not want to do.

  • Persuasion (I know you really want to...)
  • Put Downs (No one else will ever want you)
  • Guilt Trips (But I gave up going out with my friends! I took you out, you owe me.)
  • Pressure (If you loved me, you would...)
  • Blackmail (If you don’t, I will tell everyone you are a virgin.)
  • Manipulation (You are the only one who understands me. I can’t live without you.)

Provide techniques for being assertive.
For example, have adolescents practice these statements:

"When you ___, it makes me feel___. I want you to___, or I will___.

Encourage teens to look the person in the eye, use a firm voice, stand up or sit up straight, and hold her/his head high.

Know the types of abuse in relationships and what you can do to prevent rape.

 Discuss date rape drugs:

  • Rohypnol, GHB, alcohol and other drugs are used to gain access to individuals in order to engage in sexual activity. Use of any of these drugs to manipulate a person into sexual activity is wrong.


 Reinforce message:

  • Individuals have the right NOT to engage in sexual activity, or to END sexual activity at any time, no matter what!


Working with Victims:  When working with victims of sexual assault, it is important to:

     Do                                             Don't
create a non-judgmental environment                      blame her
believe her, listen to her                                           judge her
give back control whenever possible               second guess her actions
validate her feelings                                                pressure her
offer to help her  



  • Just Say "No".
  • Leave. Walk away.
  • Ignore It. Act as if you’re not paying attention.
  • Invent an Excuse. Think of something else you can be doing (based on truth).
  • Change the Subject.
  • Make a Joke.
  • Play Dumb. Act ignorant about how to do it.
  • Act Shocked, as if you can’t believe your friend really said it.
  • Use Delay Tactics: "Not now, I have a headache."
  • Use Flattery: "You’re too smart (too kind, etc.) to really mean that."
  • Take Control of the Situation: "I don’t want to do that now. I want to see my friend at the pizza parlor."
  • Ask Them to Justify why you should do what they want you to do. "What’s in it for me?"
  • Name the Problem and the Consequences: "My parents don’t want me to do that. I would feel dirty if we did". OR "It’s against my principles and I would feel cheap if we did. Besides, I could get pregnant or get AIDS."


Last Updated 10/21/2009