Quotes for teens on life lessons

Quote about showing respect and finding empowerment in sexuality- 'Take charge of your sexuality. Respect others'

"Take charge of your own sexuality.
Respect others’."

-- Truth Be Told Quotes

The majority of sexual offenses in our country are committed between people who know each other. Awareness is shifting, but clearly we’re not all on the same page. The solution? Respect each other.

You are worthy of respect. Know your own boundaries and make them clear. That might make other people unhappy. Too bad for them. You are worth standing up for.

On the other hand, respect the other person. It’s safe to assume that silence, “I’m not sure,” and “no” all mean “No.”

Manipulation and power plays are never cool. The secret tip you won’t find on any magazine cover is to pay attention and to show that you value each other’s worth.

Activities for this quote

Teaching resources

Bring this quote into your classroom with a lesson guide and activities that are ready to use.

Quote Overview / Description

Quote about respect and empowerment in sexuality

With the #MeToo movement, we are seeing just how often lines of respect and caring are being abused. Through this increased awareness, we as a society are sorting out where the lines should be. What’s the difference between flirting and harassment? Between consent and manipulation? How do we all learn to live and work together-- explore, grow, find love-- and keep it healthy?

The importance of respect

I have two daughters and two sons- and I tell them all the same thing. It’s about respect. If you are mature enough to engage in anything of a sexual nature, you’d better be mature enough to pay attention and understand the other person’s perspective. First and foremost is to treat each other with respect.

Respect means listening and paying attention

It’s not ok to just invade someone’s personal space. Slow down and ask. Consider the other person’s perspective and feelings. Then respect their answer without emotional manipulation. Sex should never be a bargaining tool. And if the person can’t respond and have that conversation coherently— back off and help them to safety.

Respect yourself and your needs too

If you’re feeling pressed, make your feelings known— loud and clear. If the other person doesn’t like it? Too bad for them. Walk away. You are worth standing up for. You have power to change your physical and emotional situation. Give yourself respect even if the other person doesn’t.

Empower yourself

Of course there are a lot of examples of abuse that this quote doesn’t apply to. But there are many situations in which this quote can help young adults remember they are empowered to make choices that protect their emotional and physical well being. They have the capacity to treat others with respect and to set boundaries for positive relationships. And sometimes we all need the reminder that we are worthy of respect.

Discussion questions / Writing Prompts

Questions to prompt discussion, journaling, essays for high school health class and social emotional development lessons:

  1. What constitutes consent? What are the responsibilities of each person in an interaction? (For help read “What is Consent from RAINN.)
  2. What can you do if you are feeling pressured? (See this resource: How to Respond if Someone is Pressuring You.
  3. Watch this video, Consent is like Tea and discuss how consent for serving tea makes ideas about sexual consent more obvious.


Activities and worksheets for teen SEL / high school health and wellness lessons:

  1. Choose one of these bystander scenarios and write a short scene / dialog demonstrating strategies for handling it. (Find more strategies for bystander intervention here.
  2. What do you do if you know of someone being harassed? Choose a scenario from these bystander scenarios and discuss strategies to handle the situation.
  3. What are colleges doing about preventing sexual assault? What are some strategies that can prevent sexual assault? for a starting point, read this article "Preventing sexual assault on campus" or this resource on preventing sexual assault from the Center on Safety and Prevention of Sexual Assault
  4. What would you do if someone comes to you and seeks help? See these strategies for what to say to a victim of sexual assault from No More

Coloring Pages

Download printable coloring pages for a mindfulness activity that features this quote.

  1. Classic coloring page
  2. My Own Eagle coloring page
  3. Fierce Self coloring page

Curriculum Topics

High School Health Class / Social Emotional Development Core Curriculum Alignment:

  • Healthy decision making and taking personal responsibility
  • Evaluating and reducing risk
  • Self awareness and healthy ways of managing changes
  • Understanding other perspectives
  • Self advocacy, empowerment
  • Setting boundaries
  • Emotional wellness
  • Recognize internal and external influences on behavior


  • You are worthy of respect.
  • Your sexual partner is worthy of respect.
  • Advocate for yourself, set boundaries and be clear about it. You are worth protecting, even if it makes someone else upset.
  • Respect your partner. Listen and pay attention to their words, body language and intent.

Character Traits/Values

  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Empathy
  • Caring

NOTE: This quote and paragraph are not included in the print and ebook versions of the book, Truth Be Told Quotes, due to restricitons in some school curriculums.

Buy the book

Colleen Doyle Bryant

Colleen Doyle Bryant is the author of five books and more than 50 learning resources about making good choices for the right reasons. Her Talking with Trees series for elementary students and Truth Be Told Quotes series for teens are used in curriculums around the world. Rooted in Decency, Colleen's latest release for an adult audience, explores what happened to common decency and how we can get to a place of more cooperation and kindness. Learn more at ColleenDoyleBryant.com.

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