Since the Parkland, FL high school shooting in February (which, at the time, was the eighteenth school shooting in 2018; there have been more since), gun violence has become a hot topic in the media and American society in general (see the recent blog about gun violence and the second season of the series 13 Reasons Why). The issue of gun violence is important for teens and their families not only as we think about how to keep kids safe but also as we consider what may be the underlying causes for such horrible acts. To put it in perspective, the perpetrators of four of the largest school shootings over the last decade were all between the ages of 17-23 years. One topic that has received growing attention is the role of violent video games in promoting youth aggression and violence.
Valentine’s day evokes images of hearts, cupids, and romantic grand gestures. Along with the romance, however, it’s also a time to consider healthy communication around relationships and sexual activity, as February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. Teen dating violence comes in many forms, but today we’ll focus on sexual violence and consent.