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Being the target of sexual aggression appears to alter female rat’s brain function, according to study with rodents let by Rutgers University scientists. The team paired prepubescent female rats with sexually experienced adult male rats for 30 minutes daily during which time the male rodents chased and tried to pin down the females. After about two weeks, findings showed that these females had elevated levels of stress hormones, could not learn as well and expressed reduced maternal behaviors needed to care for offspring compared with females that did not have aggressive interactions with the males (Scientific Reports, online Jan. 26).

We must educate and protect our females while educating our males regarding sexual assault or sexual aggression. Rape cases are becoming more and more prevalent on college campuses which alters the trajectory of both the female’s and male’s futures. Parents need to have an open line of communication with their child from a young regarding sexual education and continue to discuss the dark side of sexual encounters. Our females must be encouraged to seek help and speak out when a crime has been committed against them. As a society must not further victimize the victim once they speak out. Our males that show early signs of aggression need counseling from an early age. All males must learn that No means No and females are not objects or property. Take the time this summer to discuss these issues with your children.

Susie Bean Gives