Many of us have experienced being the outcast of the “cool group” and many of us have experienced being bullied into behaviour that we weren’t comfortable with. And let’s face it – it was a helpless and horrible feeling.

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. A bully isn’t necessarily the tough guy or group who are looking for weaker ones to push around and call names. A bully could also be the most beautiful girl in the class who taunts you with statements like, “if you’re really my friend…or if you want to belong to my group, you’ll do this for me”

Bullies use people and hurt others to make themselves feel better. Most bullies actually struggle with their own self-esteem and this includes those in cliques and “cool groups”. This bullying behaviour can come in the form of taunting or pressuring you into smoking, shoplifting, drug use, or sexual activity that you’re not ready for. Another form of bullying is “put-downs” about another person’s physical appearance, personality, scholastic ability, athletic performance, or sexual performance. Bullies also love to use cyberbullying which happens online through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other forms of social media. See the Saffron Centre, which is a great snapshot of what happens with cyberbullying and what to do about it.

Sadly, a growing trend is the number of girls who tell us that they are being pressured (bullied) into engaging in sexual activity before they are ready. This activity can include being pressured into sending sexual images and sexting. And many are expressing how they are being bullied into losing their virginity.

As porn becomes more and more accessible and accepted; confusion about our sexuality is growing especially among youth/teens. Male and female alike, are watching porn and expecting that what they are watching is “normal”. What they don’t understand is that porn is fake and unrealistic; and that many of the porn stars are infected with STI’s and may even be victims of human trafficking.


What they are watching is not love, but an activity that is designed to please only one person with little to no thought as to the pleasure and well-being of the other. What they are watching is surgically enhanced and airbrushed performers who are not concerned for the well-being of those watching. What they are watching is yet another attempt by the media to show images that are not realistic and behaviours that are not healthy for us physically, emotionally, or socially.

What Can Be Done?

First of all, a frank discussion needs to happen and hopefully, it will start at home. For both males and females; watching porn can lead to porn addiction and unrealistic expectations of how one’s body should look, how sexual partners should treat one another, and what relationships should look like. Don’t be afraid to do what’s best for you. Determine ahead of time what you want and what you’re comfortable with. How do you want to be treated? Don’t give in to the pressure. Rely on trusted family members or friends to help guide you. Hold your ideals and values in high esteem.

Don’t put so much emphasis on acceptance by one particular group; that you lose sight of who you are and what your values are. It takes time to learn who you are and to stand up for yourself, but never be afraid to be yourself and to be your own person. If certain people don’t want to accept you, move on and find other friends. You are worth it!

Norah Kennedy RSW
Executive Director/Pregnancy Care Centre