Let Girls Be Girls

Research Report

Let Girls Be Girls

How Coercive Sexual Environments Affect Girls Who Live in DisadvantagedCommunities and What We Can Do about It


In neighborhoods where disadvantage and violence are great and collective efficacy and social control are low, a gender-specific neighborhood mechanism can emerge that has different effects on male and female youth. Some communities develop a pervasive coercive sexual environment (CSE) in which harassment, domestic violence, and sexual exploitation of women and even very young girls become part of everyday life. This research report describes the CSE phenomenon, as well as next steps for research and action.

Cross-Center Initiative

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