Be Safe - What Is Harmful Sexual Behaviour

Calder (2002) suggests the following definition for harmful sexual behaviour in young people:


“Young people (below the age of 18 yrs) who engage in any form of sexual activity with another individual that they have powers over by virtue of age, emotional maturity, gender, physical strength, or intellect and where the victim in this relationship has suffered a sexual exploitation and betrayal of trust. Sexual activity includes sexual intercourse, sexual touching, exposure of sexual organs, showing pornographic material, exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene communication (frottage), fetishism and talking in a sexualised way. We should also include any form of sexual activity with an animal, and where a young person sexually abuses an adult.” (adapted from Palmer, 1995).


This definition also needs to be extended to inappropriate use of the internet and other electronic devices, including mobile phones.

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Be Safe - What Is Harmful Sexual Behaviour