High school girls’ experience of victimisation by boys: Where sexual harassment meets aggression. Where sexual harassment meets aggression

Rosalyn Shute, Laurence Owens, Phillip Slee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    School-based research into sexual harassment, on the one hand, and aggression (including bullying) on the other, originate from different disciplinary traditions, but are beginning to connect. We examined whether the sexual harassment of high school girls by boys can be regarded as a form of aggression. Year 8 to 10 girls from 5 coeducational high schools (N = 679) responded to a 24-item version of the Direct and Indirect Aggression Scale, including 6 new sexually toned items; participants indicated how often they experienced each behavior. Principal components analysis identified 4 components: direct aggression, psychological aggression, cyberbullying, and sexual harassment. The latter included the more intrusive sexually toned behaviors, whereas verbal sexualized insults were a component of psychological aggression - the component that most strongly undermined girls sense of safety at school. Research and policies on school peer victimization need to explicitly include sexual aspects, in recognition of the harmfulness of such "everyday" psychological aggression.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)269-285
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
    Volume25
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016

    Keywords

    • Adolescent
    • bullying
    • gender issues
    • school violence
    • sexual abuse

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