A study by the universities of Valencia (UV) and the Catholic University of Valencia finds that the harassment and the response it provokes is different among high school students depending on gender. It concludes that school bullying is not cross-cutting and that the reaction as a witness to the aggression is different: girls tend to seek outside help and boys either get involved at the time or do not act.
The boys stand out more in the “opposite answers,” meaning some choose to try to cut the situation short at the moment, but others are inclined to do nothing. For their part, girls usually take an intermediate position where they discuss the situation with outsiders: teachers or relatives. It is one of the conclusions reached by researchers from the Faculty of Sciences of Physical Activity and Sport (FCAFE) of the UV Mario Alguacil, Paloma Escamilla and Sergio Aguado, in collaboration with Alba Bonet and Carlos Pérez, of the Catholic University of Valencia.
The most striking result for the authors is the verification that harassment is not cross-genre. Boys receive it from other boys and girls from other girls. In addition, the feeling of isolation or repetition in these behaviours does not change between them. That is, gender does not cause them to harass or be harassed to a greater or lesser extent.
According to Alguacil, “these data allow us not only to know the existence of situations of harassment in the secondary stage but also to quantify and classify these actions, so that we can know more what actions related to harassment are carried out by boys and girls, and what is their perception and reaction to both the harassment suffered and the one inflicted or witnessed”.
“Specifically, this study provides information to better understand the differences in perception and action on gender-based harassment”, says the FCAFE professor. “It’s about knowing the problem more and better, as well as the variables that may be associated with it, to be more effective in both prevention and management of the actions that occur”, he explains.
To achieve these results, the research group surveyed 318 high school female students and 274 high school male students. They were asked to complete a standardised, commonly used questionnaire for this type of study. Composed of 25 questions, organised in 2 blocks, information was obtained on the relational life of students and abuse between peers suffered, inflicted or witnessed and action taken.
Bonet-Morro, A.; Alguacil, M. et al. (2022). Estudio comparativo de género sobre el acoso escolar: estrategias y acciones. Retos, Volumen 44, p. 45-52. DOI: https://doi.org/10.47197/retos.v44i0.88111